April is Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention month
By Anthony Axton, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office
/ Published April 19, 2019
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
This is the month established to highlight and promote awareness events and stand and support survivors of sexual assault. As caring Wingmen, we must be ready and willing to intervene to assist and support those in our Air Force family, including civilians and dependents, who have been impacted by sexual assault. It is important to practice awareness and prevention efforts every day of the year to ensure we are fostering a culture of dignity and respect where every Airman is safe, valued and empowered to perform their duties ensuring mission success.
The Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office stands ready to provide victim-centered response, resource referral and advocacy to members of the Whiteman community. Although, we educate and promote prevention efforts through trainings and briefings, preventing sexual assault falls to each of us as individuals to be willing, active bystanders.
We see a culture change focused on prevention only when we are willing to intervene by speaking up, seeing something and saying something, to stop behaviors and actions that create toxic climates and do not align with our core values or promote dignity and respect. Through “Green Dot” training received the past several years, we have been equipped with tools to empower us to intervene and have also been encouraged that each of us can make small changes that can result in huge impacts. We also must continue to uphold an environment where victims of sexual assault feel safe and supported to disclose and report, whether the report be restricted or unrestricted.
One way this support has been evident is through the delivery of SAPR commander talking points introduced three years ago. Members have come forward to report because they trusted their commanders when told they would be believed and supported, their privacy respected and were encouraged to receive help and advocacy. A positive culture shift is occurring and will continue if we remain willing to intervene both for prevention, response and support.
Whiteman AFB Resources:
Mental Health: 660-687-4341
Chaplain (Duty Hours): 660-687-3652/ (After duty hours): 660-687-3778
Police Service Desk: 660-687-3700