Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

SAAPM: Protecting people protects mission

By Halle Thornton

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — One of the 50th Space Wing’s priorities is to take care of our Airmen and families always.

During April, the Schriever Air Force Base Sexual Assault Response and Prevention program aims to execute this priority hosting events and activities Airmen and their families can participate in throughout the month to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month and Month of the Military Child.

Cecilia Smith, sexual assault victim advocate with the SAPR program, stressed the importance of protecting each other in the workplace and on the frontline.

“This year’s theme at Schriever is Protecting our People, Protects our mission,” she said. “Regardless of rank, grade or job specialty, we all can take action to protect our people.”

Smith encouraged Airmen to remember if you see something, say something.

“Don’t be a bystander,” she added. “We’re professionals, we come to work and do our job. We should be free of harassment.”

If you see something unsettling, there are places around base to report it, such as the SAPR office, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, security forces and the chapel office.

Devon Thomas, alternate sexual assault response coordinator with the SAPR program, encourages Airmen to not sit by and watch inappropriate behavior.

“Don’t let things go,” she said. “Don’t let inappropriate words or talking continue in the workplace.”

Ken Robinson, violence prevention integrator with the 50th Space Wing, said when it comes to sexual assault prevention, he utilizes the Green Dot program.

“This inappropriate kind of behavior is not tolerated in our Air Force culture and we will not stand for it,” he said.

Program key takeaways include recognizing warning signs such as ignoring boundaries, isolation, threats or physical force and unwanted touching or sexual contact with someone who is asleep or unconscious.

“Everyone on the base is united,” Robinson said. “As a culture we want to support people. Everyone’s actions are needed to stop sexual assault.”

Smith and Thomas look forward to SAAPM because it gives them the opportunity to try different events, to get the base involved and inform as many people as possible of the seriousness of sexual assault.

“We’re always trying to think of something new and fun to get the community to spread the word,” Thomas added.

This year, the SAPR office is partnering with the 21st Medical Group’s Family Advocacy Program to host a smoothie bar Friday for Month of the Military Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Additionally, they planted pinwheels April 2 at the Child Development Center to bring awareness of the different theme, and children will show off their pinwheels in the annual parade at the CDC April 18.

“We not only want to support Airmen but children as well,” Thomas said. “We want to build the community and make sure the children are included.”

Other events during April include the Eighth Annual Dodgeball Tournament April 20 and the Foam Bullet Battle April 27.

“It is a topic that can be downing, so with these activities we want to bring the spirit up and get the community together, but also let people know the seriousness of the topic,” Thomas said. “We are here for the community.”

Both Smith and Thomas reiterated how their doors are always open for Airmen to come and discuss their problems safely, or to simply talk.

“We want people to know they can come to us and feel comfortable,” Smith said.

Thomas added Schriever Airmen and their families should always feel safe.

“You never know what someone’s been through,” she said. “We are wingmen and Airmen, and we should be looking out for each other, always.”

“Speak up, speak out and take some ownership,” Thomas continued. “This is our Air Force.”

For more information, contact the SAPR program office at 567-7272.

Upcoming SAPR office events:

Friday, 3 — 5:30 p.m. Tiki Smoothie Bar, Child Development Center

April 18, 3:30 — 5:30 p.m. Pinwheel Parade and Ice Cream Social, Child Development Center

April 19, 10:30 a.m. — 1 p.m. Outreach table, dining facility

April 20, 9 a.m. Eighth Annual Dodgeball Tournament, fitness center

April 27, 9 a.m. Adult Foam Bullet Battle, indoor running track, 3 p.m. Kids Foam Bullet Battle, indoor running track

SAAPM: Protecting people protects mission
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