Health & Safety

April 4, 2014

April: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Staff Sgt. TIMOTHY BOYER
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

“The biggest danger is that we could feel or believe that our individual actions don’t matter and we can’t change anything when the opposite is true.”

These are the words of Joice Jones, 56th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response coordinator. With the advent of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, commonly known as SAAM, it is important to remember that everyone has a role in prevention.

“It takes everyone in every work center to normalize respect,” Jones said. “We all have a responsibility to look out for each other, positively influence the culture around us and control our environment.”

The goal of the month is to bring attention to the silenced. It is a chance to recognize the victims, survivors and their families, said Evelyn Perez, 56th FW sexual assault victim advocate.

“Our mission is to ensure that all victims of sexual assault get the care and support they require,” she said. “We also use education and intervention as a primary means of achieving an environment free of sexual assault.”

While there are practices that might reduce the risk of sexual assault such as using the wingman concept, keeping an eye on drinks and being aware of surroundings, it is important to remember these only reduce the risks, they do not prevent assaults from happening.

“A person can do everything on the list and still be raped,” Jones said. “This is not prevention, this is risk reduction.”
It can sometimes feel that there is nothing to be done by the average person to prevent sexual assaults, but there is, Jones said.
“We are trained by the media, music, television and radio that sexual assault is normal,” she said. “We need to retrain ourselves and our peers on the basic concept of respect. If we respect each other and have compassion and empathy, things can begin to change. It’s all about respect.”

It is important to understand that not only women are affected by sexual assault, Jones said.

“It can happen to both men and women,” she said. “Statistically speaking, the highest-risk age group is 18 to 24 year-olds.”
During her time at Luke Air Force Base, Jones has heard every excuse for why an assault occurred.

“It is never the victim’s fault,” she said. “People try to come up with scenarios to remove the blame. A common one is alcohol involvement, but the alcohol did not cause someone to commit an assault. There is no acceptable reason for anyone to ever violate another person.”

Sexual Assault Awareness Month extends beyond the gates of Luke and is a national effort to raise awareness, promote respect and change the culture.

“Sexual violations are really human rights violations,” Jones said. “This is a problem that should not exist in the world and should certainly not exist in the Air Force.”

The theme for the Defense Department this year is “Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault.” By living the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do, Airmen take care of each other and change the culture to one of respect. In focusing on these values, every person can make a difference.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

Gen. Philip Breedlove, left, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 12. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, right, 56th Fighter Wing commander, briefed the general on Luke’s evolving mission to train F-3...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

Senior Airman Grace Lee Capt. George Normandin, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, received the Aviation Safety Well Done Award Sept. 2, presented by Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander. Normandin took control of an F-...
 
 

You are what you eat

“You are what you eat.” This is a generic statement or a notion. It implies that if you eat healthy, you will be healthy. But how true is this in the world today? What we eat, drink, wear, drive and buy is often an attempt to construct a social identity. It lets others know who...
 

 

Knowledge equals power

The phrase “knowledge is power” is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show “School House Rock” theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more “power” you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge...
 
 
Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

EOD Airman changed for good by life experiences

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Tech. Sgt. David Gerig’s, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief, first assignment after technical school was Kadena Air Base, Japan. The challenges in life are often w...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

CFC kick-off The 56th Fighter Wing Combined Federal Campaign kick-off charity fair is 9 a.m. Monday in Bldg. 1130 auditorium. Learn about the 2014 campaign ‘Serving Our Country. Supporting Our Community.’ and visit with local charities. For more information, call Maj. Jennifer Preyer-Bonton at 623-856-7144. Hispanic Heritage Month National Hispanic Heritage Month began Monday and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin