by Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales
JBER Public Affairs
11/20/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Air
Force leadership implemented a five-year sexual assault prevention and
response strategy Oct. 27, which includes a new phase adding to
preventative efforts and response capabilities.
The goal of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention strategy is to have an Air Force free from sexual assault.
The foundation of the new strategy is to stop an assault before it
occurs by identifying risk factors and following through with increased
Some of the risks a potential perpetrator might have are unhealthy
relationships or experiences, or beliefs that promote risky behaviors.
These risk factors can also be aggravated in a culture that tolerates sexual hazing, harassment and assault.
"Sexual assault prevention is critical to the health, morale and welfare
of Airmen and [is] ultimately essential to Air Force readiness," said
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "This strategy lays out
the deliberate, science-based process we will follow to eradicate this
crime from our ranks."
The long-term objective of the strategy is to provide Airmen with
developmental education and training to uphold an environment free of
JBER plans to do so with an advisory board.
"At the installation level, we are setting up an advisory board to
combine different agencies such as mental health, drug abuse prevention,
public health, [the] legal office, safety, equal opportunity, inspector
general, chaplains and career assistance," said Darmaly Williams, JBER
SAPR program manager. "We are creating our own action plan based on our
basic local needs."
Each organization's specialty can shine a light on a specific cause
related to violence and, with their help, further resolve the issue. The
advisory board will address violence through a holistic approach.
"Instead of just sexual violence, we're addressing different kinds of
violence and [its] surrounding factors," Williams said. "The first step
is establishing the advisory board, and planing monthly meetings.
In these meetings, we will talk about the root cause of these problems - because a Band-Aid isn't going to fix [them]."
Forms of violence the advisory board plans to address include domestic, workplace, sexual assault, child treatment and suicide.
Once the risk factors specific to JBER have been identified, additional
training will educate the community on more efficient preventative
"Social violence is a public health issue. Rather than simply being a
personal responsibility, it is also a community responsibility," said
Capt. Meghan Cummings, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator deputy.
"This new strategy gives bystanders a more positive direction."
According to the SAPR guidance, sexual assault reports have gone up and overall incidents have gone down.
There is trust in the system, and awareness of the problem, but the next step is transforming that awareness into action.
"We've come a long way in figuring [the issue] out, and the military has
made a lot of progress in recognizing and addressing this problem,"
Williams said. "I am really looking forward to improving our efforts."
For more information, call 551-2020/2033 or 2035, or visit the new SAPR strategy guidance at tinyurl.com/p52t2ce.