SAPR continues to push awareness

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Sexual Assault Prevention Graphic (U.S. Air Force graphic by Naoko Simoji/Released)
Sexual Assault Prevention Graphic (U.S. Air Force graphic by Naoko Simoji/Released)

SAPR continues to push awareness

by: Airman 1st Class Keith James, 18th Wing Public Affairs | .
Kadena Air Base | .
published: July 26, 2014

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Laurie Scudder, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response specialist from the SAPR office here, recently conducted a radio interview with the Air Force Network, Okinawa to discuss the topic of SAPR.

Scudder addressed the key topics of SAPR during the 45 minute interview. The topics included victim advocates, outreach and prevention, reporting procedures and options as a victim at Kadena.

"Sexual assault in general was such a taboo word, and I think the military has done a very good job in opening up that communication and it and saying it's ok to talk about it," Scudder said.

The role of an Air Force SAPR victim advocate is to provide support, be a liaison and provide care to victims of sexual assault. Victim advocates ensure victims receive the necessary care and support until the victim deems or the SARC determines that support is no longer needed. Responsibilities of the victim advocate include providing crisis intervention, referral and ongoing non-clinical support, information on available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions about the case.

"We want to make sure people have a choice," Scudder said. "They get to be the ones to decide who they are speaking with, and what that organization is and where that organization comes from."

The SAPR office brings awareness to the public by use of informational booths on SAPR around Kadena, by visiting the different units and squadrons here and through its annual SAPR safety stand down day. They educate the members on how sexual assault is defined, what it includes, how to prevent it from occurring, and what to do when or if it does occur.

"We don't force anyone in one direction or another; we provide individuals with information and let them make educated decision for themselves."

It's important for all service members, dependents, Department of Defense members and civilians to know what you're reporting options are. There are two reporting options available, unrestricted and restricted.

Unrestricted reporting initiates a law enforcement investigation for the sexual assault incident. If a report of sexual assault is made to a commander, first sergeant, a member of your chain of command, Security Forces or Air Force Office of Special Investigation, the report will automatically be an unrestricted report.

Restricted reporting allows a victim to report a sexual assault without triggering a law enforcement investigation. It is intended to give the victim time and control over the release of their information. A Restricted Report also empowers the victim to make an informed decision about participating in the criminal process.

"This is an option that puts control back into the victim's hands, and allows them to make the decision for themselves," Scudder said.

Remembering to stay aware and follow proper procedures gives the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and SAPR members the best opportunity to assist victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault hurts one but affects all and preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty.

"In the last 10 years we've made a bunch of strides as far as prevention methods." said Scudder. "I continue see folks come forward and become empowered; wanting to be a part of this new change."

For additional information and help refer to the links below for assistance:

http://www.kadena.af.mil/units/sexualassaultpreventionandresponse/index.asp