Program Aims to Halt Sexual Assault

  • Published
  • By SSgt. Samara Taylor
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is a significant problem in the United States.

Sexual assault refers to sexual activity where consent is not obtained or freely given. Anyone can be the target of sexual assault, but most victims are female. The person responsible for the violence is typically male and is usually someone known to the victim.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program in the 127th Wing reinforces the Air Force's commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness and prevention training, education, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability.

The Air Force promotes sensitive care and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes. Sexual assault is criminal conduct and can be punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 120. Sexual assault of any nature falls well short of the standards that America expects of its men and women in uniform.

Airmen of the 127th Wing who experience or are aware of an incident of sexual assault should report it to law enforcement or another official source as quickly as possible.

Capt. Bryan Amara, 127th Wing executive officer, is the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response coordinator for the Wing.

"I am the single point of contact for the wing to ensure that sexual assault victims get the appropriate care," said Amara. "The SAPR program is, in my opinion, the number one program when it comes to helping the survivors of sexual assaults in the wing. It's a way for them to confidentially report and get the help they need."

Statistics show one out of three women and one out of four men have experienced some form of sexual assault or have been victimized by harassment.

According to 1st Lt. Valerie Ward, director of the 127th Wing Equal Opportunity Office, assault and harassment are closely related. Actions and how they are perceived by someone may be different.

The impact of one's actions may affect someone differently based upon their own personal experiences. One key to prevention is to always act professionally and in accordance with the Air Force Core Values. Every Airman should feel free to accomplish their Air Force mission without any hindrances, Ward said.

Sexual assault undermines our Air Force core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Airmen of the 127th Wing are a part of an extraordinary Air Force and are each others' wingmen. 

Airmen are encouraged that if they experience or become aware of a sexual assault to report it through the appropriate channels, one of which may include  Capt. Amara, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the 127th Wing. Other resources include: 911, www.safehelpline.org, www.turningpointmacomb.org, www.Rainn.org and www.militaryoneresource.com.

Comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.