Health & Safety

February 28, 2013

Focusing on more than the bystander

Senior Airman Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response officials across the Air Force are revamping their training programs. Bystander Intervention training is slated to be replaced with annual Sexual Assault Response Training in March.

The SART will be an hour-long classroom course. Airmen can attend one of the three classes a week.

Bystander Intervention Training emphasized those around the victim and their responsibility to act. The new program is a comprehensive training that touches on sexual assault prevention from a variety of angles.

“The focus of BIT was on those that see something happening intervening,” said Vicky Jo Ryder, 355th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “With the new training we’re going to cover more aspects, such as the importance of consent, and restricted and unrestricted reporting.”

Unlike the BIT classes, SART will be coed. Instead of gender specific classes, they will have rank specific classes. The leadership classes will be master sergeant and up for enlisted members, and major and up for officers. All other ranks will attend the Airmen classes.

“This training is also different in that it is mostly interactive,” Ryder said. “One of the main requests the instructors made was ‘No PowerPoint slides, we want to talk.’ So we have one slide to welcome everyone, and from then on the class is actively involved with the course.”

The 2013 training cycle is slated to run from March to December.

“One of the major facets of the training is instituting a culture change,” Ryder said. “The Air Force is taking steps to change the way people view things. They want them to know that certain things are not appropriate and don’t fit into the Air Force core values.”

If you are interested in becoming a SART instructor, contact Ryder at 228-7272.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

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