Incirlik launches sexual assault awareness campaign

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Valda Wilson
  • 39th Air Base Wing
The Incirlik Air Base sexual assault response coordinator team launched a sexual assault awareness campaign called, "Hurts One, Affects All- Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty," in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month here.

The campaign incorporates themes from bystander intervention training into its events and publicity, and features presentations and activities that help educate Airmen about sexual assault prevention.

One of the major awareness events was two performances of "Sex Signals," an improve play about dating, relationships and sexual assault prevention. Not only did the play talk about the definition of sexual assault, it also challenged the audience members to think about how they might handle different situations.

The show depicted various situations Airmen can find themselves in and the consequences of their actions using humor and audience interaction.

"We're using humor to allow [Airmen] to be more receptive of some of these more difficult discussions," said DeRante Parker, one of the performers in the show. "It's humor for a purpose."

The main lesson performer Courtney Abott hopes Airmen take away from the play is that they should get active verbal consent from their partners in all situations, she said.

In order to avoid trouble, Airmen should ask questions prior to sexual encounters, said Tech. Sgt. Priscilla Anderson, the assistant SARC for Incirlik Air Base. Airmen should ensure the answers to those questions remain yes from beginning to end, she added.

The SARC team coordinated a "5K" fun run for sexual assault awareness at ArakadaƟ Park April 23, and has other events planned into May to continue to raise awareness.

There will be performances of "Voices of Men," a multi-media play that uses humor and celebrity impressions to educate audiences about consent, dating, violence in relationships, and stalking and objectification, according to the show's website.

Another element of the campaign is the continuation of the new bystander intervention training. BIT is the Air Force's newest approach to awareness and education about sexual assault. The training is taught in small groups--divided into men, women and leaders--and focuses on teaching members how to react in social situations when two people are headed toward a potential sexual assault.

The Air Force has focused on sexual assault prevention and response for several years, and has placed special emphasis on victim care, Air Force leaders said.

"Without proper consent, sexual encounters can easily cross over a critical boundary and change from a consensual activity to one of a major crime," said Dr. Thomas Appel-Schumacher, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe sexual assault response coordinator.

Dr. Appel-Schumacher added that leadership asks that Airmen be responsible Wingmen not only in April, but throughout their Air Force careers.