A Sexual Assault Prevention and Response stress ball sits in an office at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 8, 2019. The U.S. Air Force recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)
A Sexual Assault Prevention and Response stress ball sits in an office at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 8, 2019. The U.S. Air Force recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters)

SAAPM: Protecting Airmen Protects the Mission

by Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters
Kunsan Air Base

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and Kunsan Air Base personnel are dedicated to the safety of Airmen.

“The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response’s mission is to educate, advocate, and collaborate with other agencies as we assist our victims of sexual assault,” said Capt. Anna Sanchez, 8th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “We are in this together to stop sexual assault as a Wolf Pack.”

Airmen here can join in on local observances by participating in base events happening throughout April, to include a free combined Color Run and Walk event at the Wolf Pack Fitness Center with the U.S. Army, Republic of Korea Air Force, and family members on Friday, April 12, at 3:30 p.m.

Educating Airmen about reporting options, who mandatory reporters are, what consent is, and how to get involved are all part of SAPR’s mission, Sanchez said. Airmen everywhere can help to make our Air Force a safer space for everyone.

“To educate and reinforce the message our leadership has conveyed time and time again, we need to be more than just a bystander,” Sanchez said. “Volunteer Victim Advocates help monitor a 24/7 hotline, and can provide continuous victim care. Fellow Airmen can choose to help victims of sexual assault in other ways, too, such as with community outreach and unit visits, and being there to help in whatever way they may need.”

According to Kunsan SAPR, consent is words or overt acts indicating a freely-given agreement to the sexual conduct at issue by a competent person.

Situations that do not imply consent include when a person does not verbally give consent, does not give consent because of fear of force or threat of force, or because they are unconscious or unresponsive, Sanchez said.

Further, just because there is a current or previous dating relationship, or even just because of the way a person is dressed does not imply consent, she said.

Mandatory reporters include commanders, first sergeants, the victim’s chain of command, flight chiefs, superintendents, supervisors, first responders and Department of Defense law enforcement. This does not include friends, family members or roommates, who fall into the mandatory reporter categories.

“It’s important to know rank alone does not make you a mandatory reporter,” Sanchez said.

If a victim chooses restricted reporting, their chain of command is not notified, an investigation is not initiated, and victims can make unrestricted reporting decisions at a later date if they choose.

With unrestricted reporting, the victim’s chain of command is notified and an investigation is initiated, and expedited transfers and military/civilian protective order options are made available.

“Whether it’s restricted or unrestricted reporting, the SARC and Victim Advocates attend to victim needs and coordinate support services, and medical and counseling care is provided,” Sanchez said.

If a victim tells anyone who subsequently notifies their chain of command or if someone observes the assault and notifies their chain of command, an investigation is automatically launched by the Office of Special Investigations.

For more information about base events during SAAPM, contact Sanchez at 782-7252 or email: anna.sanchez.1@us.af.mil

Kunsan Resources:
Office: 782-7272
Hotline: DSN 782-7272 (SARC)
Comm: 063-470-7272
DoD Safe Helpline (Anonymous) 1-877-995-5247
Location: Bldg 511 (near the tennis courts, by the “Grid”)
Email: 8FW.SARC@us.af.mil

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