• Published
  • By Senior Airman Taylor Hunter
  • 4FWPA

SEYMOUR JOHNSON, N.C.-- With Sexual Assault Awareness Month starting in April, everyone should strive to educate themselves on the harmful impacts of sexual assault and how to prevent it.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office is promoting the DoD theme of “STEP FORWARD: PREVENT. REPORT. ADVOCATE.”

“The goal is to bring awareness and start conversations about what sexual assault is, how to prevent it, report it and how to support survivors who have experienced it,” said Laurie Scudder, 4th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office here strives to not only educate victims on their options, but also educate everyone on ways to decrease sexual assault and sexual harassment.

“It is the call for attention to show sexual assault is prevalent and reports have been increasing across the DoD over the last decade,” said Tech. Sgt. Alexander Gamm, 4th Force Support Squadron Airman dorm leader and volunteer victim advocate. “From about 6% for active-duty females and 1% males, to 8.5% and 1.5%, respectively.”[SLAGUA4F3]

Along with educating on what sexual assault may look like, the SAPR program encourages people to learn how to identify the signs of a potential sexual assault and have the courage to intervene before it can happen. Creating a baseline allows everyone to understand what is unacceptable which enables people to know how and when to prevent these types of situations.

“It is vital for everyone to be able to identify the warning signs of a precarious situation,” said Tech. Sgt. Kayla Gatten, 4th Maintenance Group scheduler and volunteer victim advocate. “Everyone in the military comes from different backgrounds, we don’t perceive things the same way. What is a precarious situation to me doesn’t set off alarm bells for another person. By defining these potential situations, it allows everyone to help prevent them.”

SAPR services are available to any dependent older than 18, members of active duty, reserve, guard, and military employees. SAPR maintains a 24-hour capability and can be available to answer any questions or concerns from not only survivors, but friends, commanders, and those concerned about their loved ones.

If a survivor confides in a friend that they were sexually assaulted, that friend is encouraged to keep their privacy and confidentiality. However, law enforcement or member of the survivor’s chain of command, are required by law to report the assault if the victim informs them.

The SAPR program offers survivors two types of reporting processes: restricted and unrestricted.

A restricted process entails the survivor giving an official report and getting the help they need, while keeping everything confidential.
Unrestricted reporting allows the victim to get the help they need and opens an investigation that can cause legal ramification for the assailant, though the process isn’t confidential for the victim.

The SAPR office also is responsible for facilitating sexual assault awareness education and prevention training to squadrons and groups. The goal of the SAPR program is to provide survivors of sexual assault with resources to help heal so they can be productive members of their units and overall prevention to stop sexual assault.

The SAPR office is located in Davis Hall, building 3815, suites 101 and 102, and is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Emergency access is also available.
To contact SAPR for more information, or to reach an on-call advocate, call the 24-hour number at 919-722-7272 or 919-920-7272. For programmatic and non-emergency information, contact the SAPR office at 919-722-0154 or 0155.
The SAPR program is a vital command asset designed to provide emotional support, advocacy, information, resources, and to ensure victims of sexual assault and harassment are treated with dignity and respect. SAPR's program is contributing to the 4th Fighter Wing's efforts to prioritize the welfare of Airmen and their families.