SAPR office creates theater group
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The issue of sexual assault has become a top priority in the Air Force. It has caught the attention of all Airmen, from the lowest ranking to the top senior leadership.
During a conference on April 14, 2014, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James spoke on the subject of sexual assault.
"Eliminating sexual assault is a huge priority," said James. "It is a top priority for me; job one is taking care of people and this is part of that. We need to do everything that we can to protect the sons and daughters of America who come to us for service in the Air Force."
In 2004 the Department of Defense established the Joint Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response to develop a new DoD-wide sexual assault policy. The task force's efforts then led to the creation of DoD Directive 6495.01, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Policy, and the task force was changed to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office. The SAPR office serves as the Department's single point of authority for sexual assault policy and provides oversight to ensure that each of the Service's programs complies with DoD policy.
According to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office at Osan Air Base, within the last two years there have been approximately 40 incidents here.
"This is a crime against each other," said Capt. Sevrena Gordon, 51st Fighter Wing SAPR office sexual assault response coordinator. "The fact that it's happening at all means that it's a big issue."
In addition to victim counseling and training victim advocates, the Osan SAPR office is always looking for fresh ideas for presenting their message.
"Our job is to figure out what our population doesn't know, and find a creative way to present that information to them in a way the message will sink in," said Gordon.
In the continual fight against sexual assault, the SAPR office has started a new approach to delivering information about sexual assault with a SAPR theater group.
The SAPR theater group is made up of volunteers from around the base who perform presentations about sexual assault.
"Our goal is to give a presentation that really touches on the things that trend and the statistics that impact our base but do it in a more interactive way," said Gordon.
The group meets every week to practice and come up with new ideas for skits to present to each part of Osan's population.
"We have different skits geared toward first line supervisors, Airmen and even commanders to show them issues they might have to face," said Gordon.
With this new method the SAPR office is hoping to present the information in a more memorable way.
"Everybody has gotten use to power point presentations," said Staff Sgt. Kaidy Lundquist, 51st Fighter Wing SAPR office sexual assault victim advocate. "I think the skits will help the Airmen start thinking about how to handle the prevention and response of sexual assault better because of them being interactive."
Gordon hopes by having the interactive performances, it will leave a more lasting impression on people.
Anyone with some spare time can volunteer for the theater group.
"Military members, civilians and dependences are all invited to volunteer with the theater group, no matter what age, we will take everybody," said Gordon. "Whether it's directing, being on the center stage acting or just coming up with ideas and writing some scripts for us."
The SAPR office encourages anyone who would like to join to contact their office at DSN 784-2832 or by email at 51FWCVK@us.af.mil.