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Navy restricts alcohol sales to combat sexual assault problem

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Beltway Confidential,Crime,Food and Drink,Joel Gehrke,Analysis,Navy,Military Sexual Assault

U.S. Navy officials have decided to restrict the sale of alcohol, and even the placement of alcohol within stores on base, as part of an effort to prevent sexual assaults in the military.

“[W]e are finding that somewhere between six out of 10 and seven out of 10 sexual assaults, as reported, involve alcohol,” Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday.  “And they’re — well, they’re alcohol-fueled. Looking around at the — what is the atmosphere, what is the climate on our bases? We come to notice that in some of our mini-marts at some of our bases, the larger ones, the sale of alcohol, the hours were very extensive, midnight or after, starting to very early in the morning. And we said, look, this is not in line with the mainstream.”

Greenert also took issue with the prominence of the alcohol displayed in mini-marts. “Placement in the store, near the front. You know, the footprint percentage in the 20s versus what would notionally be 10,” he said. “[W]hat message are we sending here when we do that? So I said, look, let’s do the mainstream here. They’re responsible people, but we don’t need to be pushing this or perceiving to push it. And that’s what it’s really about.”

The Navy will also implement “roving patrols” on base.  ”[I]t’s about ensuring that we have a safe environment for our people that they deserve and a good command climate,” Greenert said.

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