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Behavioral Issues

The SAPR Team is traveling around to bases getting input on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program. One of the issues brought up during the focus groups is social interaction. In other words “What is proper social behavior?” I find it interesting that we have people that think this is one way of strengthening the SAPR program. I couldn’t agree more that many people in today’s digital age seemed to have lost or never developed many social skills needed for one on one or even group interaction. But do you think it’s an issue that affects sexual assault?

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Restricted Report Option: Did you know?

If you weren’t paying attention to the news in May you probably didn’t know that the DoD released its annual report on sexual assault in the military. In the Air Force, 1,047 sexual assault reports were documented in FY13. Of the 1,047 reports, 488 were restricted reports however, 76 of those converted from restricted to unrestricted in FY13.

The restricted report option is for victims of sexual assault who wish to confidentially disclose the crime to specifically identified individuals and receive medical treatment and services without triggering the official investigative process. Service members who are sexually assaulted and desire restricted reporting under this policy must report the assault to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAPR VA), Volunteer Victim Advocate (VA) or healthcare personnel. However, members who have made a restricted report have the option to go unrestricted if they choose to do so at a later date. What do you think about this policy?

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Your “Frozen” Thoughts

A reporter wrote an opinion piece Why these Marines love ‘Frozen’ and why it matters about the viral video of Marines going nuts over “Frozen.” [Click here to view the original video] In his article he makes the statement, “A definition that lumps these things together with rape does little to decrease sexual assaults anywhere—in military, on college campuses, or in bars and homes across the nation. And, it makes soldiers more likely to disregard the entire sexual assault prevention program because the instructions they are getting make no sense at all.” Do you think that’s a fair criticism or do you think he’s off base?

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Rape Epidemic

There have been some interesting articles in the press recently related to sexual assault. One of which is an op-ed which discusses the possibility that we have a rape epidemic in America. It got me wondering if our Airmen feel the same way about the Air Force. Is there a rape epidemic in the Air Force? And if so why do you feel that way?

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Let us know

SARC-HARRASSMENT-LOGOIt’s been a year since the Headquarters Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Office was revamped. Today, we have a directorate-level office led by a general officer who reports directly to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Our office manning increased to a 32-person team of experts which includes mental health, office of special investigations, lawyers, researchers, analysts, SARCs, Victim Advocates and enlisted advisors. There have been a host of initiatives the HQ SAPR office has implemented over the past year and continues to find ways to free our service from the crime of sexual assault.
We thank all those who read and respond to our blog. Many of our senior leaders read the blog daily and your opinions and thoughts provide valuable insights into important issues our team needs to consider and address. Keep those thoughts flowing our way.

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Touchy Subject

There is no doubt sexual assault is an extremely complex issue — there are many elements to it. I’ve seen this issue cause the most mild-manner people to get in a fuming rage from both sides. I understand there is a human element to sexual assault, but why else do you think this issue is such a volatile topic?

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Dirty Talk!!!

It’s 10 minutes till we get off work and everyone is finished with their work for the day.  We’re sitting around telling jokes and laughing.  Everyone in the room is laughing and having a good time, just anxious for the weekend. A couple of the jokes are inappropriate in nature and could have been offensive to some, but everyone seems to be enjoying blowing off a little steam.  What are your thoughts?  Is this appropriate?  Should anyone say something to the joke-teller, or just let it slide … after all, it is almost the weekend.

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Knowing is half the battle!

SARC-HARRASSMENT-LOGOBy now everyone should have been through their Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training Day. What did you learn that you didn’t know before? How can you apply what you learned?

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Justice for All!

Justice is a loaded word in sexual assault cases. Especially when we talk about a crime that is very traumatizing, hard to prove and where both the alleged victim and the accused face potential repercussions. The word “justice” according to Merriam-Webster means “the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity and the quality of being just, impartial or fair.” In the continuing debate of sexual assault there seems to be two primary camps: “every alleged victim is telling the truth and the accused should be hung” or “every alleged victim is lying and the accused is being railroaded.” However, I think the truth is typically more complicated than that. We should want and expect our system of military law to strive for justice—fair and impartial. Justice has never meant that what we want is “right” but rather, what’s “right” under the law. I know there are people out there who may feel like justice wasn’t done and are furious with the current system but am curious as to what justice system you recommend.  And in my opinion when you have a system of justice where both camps think it’s broke, it may mean the system of justice is working the way it’s supposed to work– fair and impartial. What do you think?

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Coming to a town near you

Several members of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office are traveling to some of your bases to observe your Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Stand-down Day. Some of the bases include Robins, Davis-Monthan, Yokota, MacDill, Minot, Ramstein, Hulburt Field and Maxwell. If you see us out, feel free to tell us what you think of the SAPR program. For those who have already had your SAPR Stand-down Days tell us how it went.

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