ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Every April, in support of Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, conducts several events to educate Airmen on the program’s importance.
Department of Defense SAPR offices promote readiness by eliminating sexual assault through advocacy, prevention, sensitive care, confidential reporting, and accountability efforts.
“This month is about knowing our rights and responsibilities, and helping with the recovery and well being process,” said Mary Jernigan, 97th AMW installation sexual assault response coordinator. “It’s about taking care of our community, both military and civilian.”
During this month, leaders across the wing and students from the 97th Training Squadron received sexual assault awareness training.
“The most important thing is that we get the information out to our command teams,” said Col. Jason Pavelschak, 97th AMW vice commander. “They need to know how to deal with sexual assault and sexual harrasment cases when it happens to their personnel. We have plenty of resources and helping agencies here on the installation to help support our Airmen.”
Jernigan said, while it’s important for Airmen to understand their responsibilities and resources, understanding the role of the victim advocate is of the utmost importance, because they serve as the backbone of the program.
“The victim advocates are the victim’s voice,” said Master Sgt. Deondra Robinson, a volunteer victim advocate. “They are responsible for carrying the victim’s story, helping facilitate their healing and caring for them through their trauma.”
For more information, visit https://www.resilience.af.mil/SAPR/, the SAPR office in building 116, or call the DoD Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247.