Team Osan continues their strive against sexual assault
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members of Team Osan gathered for several events to show their commitment to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, April 3, 2019.
April marks Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), and this year’s theme of “Protecting our people protects our mission” epitomizes the military’s efforts.
“We started our kickoff to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with this breakfast and proclamation signing,” said Capt. Margaret Thomas, the sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) with the 51st Fighter Wing. “This shows us, as Team Osan, taking a stand to eradicate sexual assault and harassment from our ranks.”
By signing the proclamation, Col. William Betts, commander of the 51st FW, pledged and vouched for Team Osan’s commitment to make every effort to assist victims in their time of need and to reduce and eliminate sexual assaults here and across the Air Force.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Offices provide services to active duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard service members who are on Title 10 status, dependents who are 18 years or older and overseas Department of Defense civilian employees, such as helping them file a report and getting them assistance after an incident.
“To assist victims of sexual assault, they can come to us to file a restricted or unrestricted report,” Thomas said. “Either the SARC or a victim advocate can help them through the process of recovery after a sexual assault. We will be their liaison to services they may need, such as medical and legal.
“The difference between restricted or unrestricted reports is that with the restricted report, the victim’s chain of command isn’t notified and an investigation is not started,” Thomas added. “With an unrestricted report, the victim’s chain of command is notified and the Office of Special Investigation will begin an investigation to gather evidence. With either choice of reporting, the victims are still able to get all the services provided.”
The DoD SAPR Office promotes readiness by striving to eliminate sexual assault and ensuring exceptional victim advocacy and prevention efforts through policy, planning and oversight of the DoD community.
“DoD wide we believe in ‘protecting our people protects our mission,’” Thomas said. “Right now, we are working with all the programs in the United States Forces Korea. We are making a plan from the success and challenges from the programs we have so we can work as one team to make our programs the best for our military members.”
For more information and support services, please visit the U.S. DoD SAPR website.
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