During the Sundance Film festival in Utah, February 2012, a documentary was shown that dealt with military victims of sexual assault and was released to the public later in June 2012.
The Academy Award nominated film “The Invisible War” got the attention of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark Welch III who in-turn showed it to all Wing Commanders last November.
Senior leaders at Edwards were given an opportunity to view “The Invisible War” during lunch at Club Muroc at the request of Brig. Gen Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander.
There was much discussion afterwards and all in attendance agreed this is a serious problem that should be eradicated from our ranks. Even though the statistical data in the presentation were a bit skewed, the most important message of this film is one sexual assault or rape is too many. The overwhelming discussion point from the group was how do we get our Airmen to know how to recognize inappropriate behavior in the workplace and in their personal lives? What should they do? Who can they tell or talk to if they are junior to the perpetrator of this inappropriate behavior?
Over the past two-and-half years the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office presented Bystander Intervention. In that training, tools were given on how to recognize an unprofessional inappropriate situation and how to step in and intervene. As we roll out 2013 Sexual Assault Prevention Training, we will build on from bystanders intervening to busting out of some stereotypes and myths of what a perpetrator and victim look like, who they are and how they operate. We should never let our guard down as the numbers of rapes being committed by strangers has decreased over time. Many rapes committed today are what we now call non-stranger rapes and sexual assaults.
Rapes and sexual assaults committed by a friend, acquaintance, co-worker, lover, significant other or family member, have been in the news almost regularly. The recent scandals involving religious leaders, retired college coaches, enlisted non-commissioned officers, officers and high school sports team members, have all been reported in the news over just the last year. The SAPR training is an annual requirement for all active duty personnel and civilians that supervise active duty. All others are welcome to attend with supervisor’s permission.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is committed and dedicated to educating our Edwards community personnel that sexual assaults and rapes are a crime and can’t be tolerated in our Air Force. For more information on sexual assault prevention and response please contact the Sexual Assault Prevention Manager, Kimberly Shirley, at (661) 277-7272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.