Airmen get smart with sexual assault training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
  • Air Force News Agency
With bad intentions in their heart, they wait to take advantage of the person who isn't paying attention.

Sam Rush-Walton, a Fullpower Workshop instructor, trained a crowd of Peterson Air Force Base active duty, civilians and dependents about how to protect themselves from becoming victims of assault.

"You have nothing to worry about with about 90 percent of the population," she said. "To properly protect yourself from the other 10 percent, you have to be aware of your surroundings and let the attacker know that you are not going to be an easy target."

The attendees learned about protecting their personal boundaries, de-escalating a threatening confrontation, dealing with verbal attacks, stopping sexual harassment and using physical self-defense to escape from an assault. The event was held in recognition of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

While the students learned about physically suppressing an attacker, the majority of the course contained tips to defuse an incident before it got physical. The instructors stressed that to prevent an incident you have to think like a criminal and make yourself an unappealing target as possible. To do this, you have to find a good balance between being too passive or aggressive. A passive attitude may make you look like an easy target, but an over-aggressive attitude could anger the attacker. The instructors demonstrated proper body language and voice tactics that best provided the proper balance. They encouraged the attendees to practice them as well.

The April 11 workshop was organized by the 21st Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Jeanine Arnold.

"Self protection can go a long way towards avoiding sexual assault," she said. "The instructors teach a professional and dynamic class. The information that participants are learning in the class could prove invaluable someday."

If someone does become a victim of sexual assault, Mrs. Arnold said that she is ready to help. She said that feelings of embarrassment often prevent most sexual assault cases from being reported.

"The SARC program is all about confidential reporting," she said. "One of the most difficult parts of preventing this crime is that victims don't want to come forward."

The workshop was attended by both men and women and people of various ages.

Master Sgt. Vanessa Eck enjoyed the workshop and said that she thought the instruction was excellent.

"They gave a lot of information on how to avoid confrontations," she said. "They also gave each person multiple opportunities for hands-on training. There is nothing better than beating-up the bad guy."

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