Airmen “drive out” sexual assault from Altus AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kari Degraffenreed
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Throughout April, the 97th Air Mobility Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team hosted events, including classes and driving range competitions, to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Prevention Month at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

The Department of Defense observes Sexual Assault Prevention month by focusing on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault and requiring a personal commitment from all service members.

Every Tuesday, Airmen across the base were invited to wear teal ribbons on their lapels for “Teal Tuesdays.” Leah Harris, 97th Air Mobility Wing sexual assault response coordinator, also taught a class on the topic of consent utilizing the acronym “F.R.I.E.S” - “Freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, specific.”

During the class, attendees watched a video explaining consent while Harris served them french fries from Club Altus. Afterwards, the class had an open discussion about sexual assault and why it’s important to always gain clear, verbal consent.

“Our Lunch and Learn provided members an opportunity to learn the different ways to provide enthusiastic and resounding consent,” said Harris. “It’s vital to receive consent prior to any sexual activity – remember, the absence of no does not mean yes.”

The month concluded with a driving range competition where more than 15 participants were invited to sign a pledge to prevent sexual assault through personal responsibility and integrity.

Senior Airman Javonte Freeman, 97th Air Mobility Wing SAPR volunteer victim advocate, explained why the SAPR team holds events to bring awareness to a tough topic like sexual assault.

“The class and driving range competition are a way to bring attention to sexual assault and harrassment. We use them to bring connection and equality amongst our Airmen and civilians during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”