ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
IT can happen to you.
No matter your race, gender, or if you’re a military member or civilian, IT can happen to you.
IT is sexual assault. And while April is the nationally recognized month to bring awareness to the subject, Jayne Bishop, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Robins Air Force Base’s Installation Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, said sexual assault prevention should be emphasized all year.
“In April, we want to focus on creating a culture that eliminates sexual assault and we want people to carry that culture into the other months of the year,” she said. “Sexual assault awareness should be on everyone’s mind during the whole year. With that being said, #notjustApril will be seen and heard a lot this year.”
Capt Josh Chapov, deputy sexual assault response coordinator, installation Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, said sexual assault should never be tolerated.
“One of the primary goals of the month-long Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month is to convey the overall message that sexual assault can drastically affect someone’s life, and that it should never be tolerated at all,” he said. “If people never speak out against sexual assault, then the appearance of toleration is there, which can lead to more sexual assaults in the future.”
This year’s SAAPM theme is: “Protecting our People Protects our Mission.”
“Protecting our people means stopping sexual assault and taking care of those who have been sexually assaulted,” Bishop said. All Airmen, military and civilian, should be able to trust each other. Once someone sexually assaults someone, trust is lost by more than just the victim.”
Bishop said the mission can’t be successful if people can’t trust their fellow Airman.
“We must recognize our part in stopping this crime, starting with our own awareness and knowing when and where to intervene,” she said.
Often, sexual assault victims feel alone in their situation, but Bishop said at Robins, they’re not.
“Everyone in this office has a passion for helping people,” Bishop said. “We truly want to help them become a survivor whether it happened 20 years ago or yesterday. We want to help transform their brokenness to beauty.”
For more information on Robins’ SAAPM events, email Capt. Chapov at email@example.com.