April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Office
Sexual assault is a crime and has no place at Robins Air Force Base or the U.S. Air Force.

To bring attention to this important issue and to show support for all victims, each April is observed as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year's theme is "We own it. We'll solve it. Together."

While many victims have come forward and filed a report of sexual assault, there may be more victims who have chosen not to report their sexual assault. It is the goal of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program to help all victims heal and become survivors.

Victims of sexual assault come from all walks of life. While they are overwhelmingly female, males also report being victims. Some victims have little or no education, some dropped out of high school; yet other victims have college education and hold advanced degrees. Victims are military, while others are civilian, according to Cindy Graver, Robins' Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

"Sexual assault is an epidemic. We have to fix it - now," said Graver. "We have to provide the best possible care to victims of sexual assault. We have to help victims of sexual assault become happy, healthy, productive and functioning survivors."

Victims are young and old, she continued. They are family members and friends. They are our coworkers. They sit next to us at church and they are our neighbors.

"Statistics tell us that one out of every four females will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime, and one out of 33 males will be sexually assaulted during his lifetime. Victims of sexual assault are now members of our 'circle of concern' - our families and our friends. We are now affected," she continued. "We have to have frank discussions with young people, middle age people, and old people about being a perpetrator. We cannot assume everyone understands what a perpetrator is, or that the behavior they have exhibited for years is not okay. We have to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and stop blaming the victim for the perpetrator's actions," she said.

Every person at Robins Air Force Base must be committed to eliminating sexual assault. Together, the goal is to prevent and respond to this crime in order to enable military readiness and to eliminate sexual assault - period.

The success of every program and initiative is dependent on the daily and continued commitment of every single one of us in fostering a climate of mutual dignity and respect, where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned, or ignored. Anyone who commits this crime - or thinks they can get away with it if they do commit it - will be held appropriately accountable.

" Solving this problem is up to us - we own it. As commanders, as leaders, as fellow Airmen, it is essential that we all live the core values of our profession of arms and treat each other with dignity and respect. Our victims and our fellow Airmen are depending on us."

For more information, call the SARC Office at 327-7272 or DSN 497-7272.