SAAPM kicks-off at Eielson AFB

SAAPM

U.S. Air Force Col. David Mineau, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Torrence Saxe, the 168th Wing commander, sign their Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) pledges March 20, 2018, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The theme for the 2018 SAAPM is "Protecting Our People, Protects Our Mission." (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

SAAPM

U.S. Air Force Col. David Mineau, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Torrence Saxe, the 168th Wing commander, sign their Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) pledges March 20, 2018, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Department of Defense observes SAAPM by focusing on creating and cultivating culture to eliminate sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) is recognized in April by both civilian and military communities. In 2018 we will continue with the theme "Protecting Our People, Protects Our Mission.”

The Department of Defense observes SAAPM by focusing on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault and requiring a personal commitment from all service members at every level. Every person has a part in combating sexual assault and SAAPM offers an excellent opportunity to focus attention on our individual roles.

“Eielson is kicking off SAAPM with pledges from Airmen who vow to take a proactive approach in preventing sexual violence,” said Capt. Bianca Mitchell, the 354th Fighter Wing sexual assault response coordinator. “The objective is to inspire Airmen to actively combat sexual assault within the military by practicing a number of good wingman characteristics. Some of those characteristics include intervening in situations that may lead to sexual assault, reminding others that sexually-based inappropriate behavior in the workplace is never okay, or simply creating an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable. The goal is to receive 300 pledges throughout the month of April.”

Since 2012, the Department's annual reports on sexual assault in the military have shown regular declines of sexual assault within the force.

We can do more to build a culture that will not tolerate sexual assault. Together, we can work to further reduce sexual assault from the armed forces, and maybe one day we can eliminate it altogether.

Throughout the year, especially during SAAPM, Airmen are reminded that, regardless of rank, grade, or job specialty, we can all take action to protect our people. The theme supports the Department's priorities to enhance readiness and lethality.

“We encourage victims and survivors to report while simultaneously inspiring a culture transformation that will ultimately reduce the number of sexual assault occurrences,” said Mitchell. “This is no easy task, but with the help of our outstanding Volunteer Victim Advocates (VVAs) and support from leaders, we are afforded the tools to one day make this a reality. Taking care of our most valued resource, our Airmen, is the key to executing the Air Force’s mission. “

Our military is the most trusted institution in America and our service members have signed a blank check to the American people, payable with their lives. This crime must not threaten those who have volunteered to serve.

If you have questions, concerns, or want to report a sexual assault, please call the 24-hour Eielson SAPR Hotline at (907) 377-7272 or the DoD Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5247.