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News > AETC changes approach to SAPR training
AETC changes approach to SAPR training

Posted 5/1/2014   Updated 5/1/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs


5/1/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas  -- The Air Education and Training Command will change the approach for this year's annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training.

Air Force officials announced the 2014 SAPR training will be broken into two topically-driven modules. The first module will be conducted in the spring and focuses on identifying offenders and the second, delivered in the fall, will focus on understanding victims.

Christine Burnett, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for AETC, explained that the change in approach is not as much about what information is given or how many days of training is required, but about who is facilitating the training.

"This year we are including intense training for small group facilitators who are not SAPR staff," Burnett said. "Their attendance at facilitator's training will give them a better basis of knowledge and skills to be able to lead, not only as a facilitator, but in the future as a leader where this topic is concerned."

The unit-selected facilitators will lead the training, which will be focused on interaction and discussion. Burnett believes this style of training is the best method of presentation to achieve SAPR goals.

"The desired end state is a change in our Air Force culture, not an accumulation of facts and information on an important topic," she said. "While facts and information do play a part in changing attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors, a shift is best achieved through thoughtful discussions with peers."

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody chose SAPR as the topic of his latest Roll Call, reinforcing the importance of courage and commitment when it comes to sexual assault prevention.

"We must commit to creating an environment where every Airman is treated with dignity and respect," Cody said. "We must have the courage to admit sexual assault is happening and is a problem, the courage to act when a fellow Airman is in danger, and the courage to speak up when we hear or see something that just isn't right. We know what's right, and what's not."

He explained that although sexual assault is a serious issue that destroys the lives of Airmen and weakens the force, the Air Force will overcome because of the traits that set us apart as Airmen.

"Throughout history we have relied on our commitment and courage to conquer our enemies, foreign and domestic, seen and unseen," he said. "We cannot allow this enemy from within to continue to exist and define who we are as an Air Force."

Burnett said all Airmen are stakeholders in the prevention of sexual assault, echoing the Chief's message. She is thankful for unit leaders who are proactive in the effort and for the unit facilitators who will bring SAPR messages to life amongst their peers.

"Each new [SAPR] effort is designed to bring everyone into the circle of responsibility for change," she said. "Whether it's stepping in to help a Wingman who needs it, asking a co-worker to cease making demeaning comments, or by modeling the highest degree of professional behavior each and every day, we can be and are, all part of the solution."

To find out more about the SAPR down day at your base, contact your local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. For more information about Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, visit http://www.sexualassaultpreventionresponse.af.mil/.



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