By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever held a sexual assault prevention and response stand-down day June 25 to meet a directive from U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
In a memorandum released May 28, Hagel wrote, “the end state of this stand down will be that leaders, recruiters, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and every member of the Armed Forces clearly understand they are accountable for fostering a climate where sexist behaviors, sexual harassment and sexual assault are not tolerated, condoned or ignored; where dignity, trust and respect are core values we live by to define how we treat one another; where victim’s reports are treated with the utmost seriousness, their privacy is protected and they are treated with sensitivity; where bystanders are motivated to intervene because offensive or criminal conduct is neither tolerated or condoned; and where offenders know they will be held appropriately accountable by an effective system of justice.”
Wing-wide commander’s calls, focusing on promoting a climate and culture that has zero tolerance for sexual assault, were spread through-out the day to reach all Schriever members.
“Hopefully, as much as I’ve talked about [sexual assault prevention] you know that I take this seriously and the rest of the leadership team takes this seriously,” said Col. James Ross, 50th Space Wing commander. “This is something that affects us all. The active duty Air Force is only at 333,000 people now. We cannot afford for a portion of our force to be victimized — to be traumatized — and not be effective as they do their jobs because of something that happened to them. It is all our responsibility to create an environment where people are free from harassment of any kind, free from assault of any kind and able to do their jobs in an environment of dignity and respect where they are not afraid or feel upset to come to work.”
After the commander’s words, John Mallory, a speaker from Catharsis Productions, presented the Sex Signals production “Hooking Up: When it’s hot, when it’s not,” that incorporated improvisation, humor, education and audience interaction to provide a provocative look at dating, sex and the core issue of consent.
Squadrons and units also broke off separately throughout the day to watch videos from Air Force Space Command leadership geared to help them understand how to intervene in sexually sensitive situations and develop environments where victims can come forward without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
“The SAPR stand-down day marks a pivotal point in the movement toward a new culture aiming to rid sexual assault from the ranks. It is a call for all Airmen to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” said Paula Krause, 50 SW SARC.
To speak with the 50 SW SARC or for more information regarding the SAPR program, call 567-SARC.