HomeNewsArticle Display

Thriving in wake of assault is focus of Air Force Academy summit

Pathways to Thriving

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Air Force Academy superintendent, gives closing remarks during the Academy's Pathways to Thriving summit in Polaris Hall at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., April 10, 2018. The two-day summit included a wide-variety of presenters who discussed topics ranging from the neurobiology of healing and mindfulness to the Academy’s response and procedures that occur when an assault is reported. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- Survivors of sexual assault gathered at the U.S. Air Force Academy this week to collaborate with leaders and subject matter experts on how to not only survive an assault, but to thrive in its wake.

“For the victims who are here, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for what happened to you,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, Academy superintendent, to survivors attending the Air Force Academy’s Pathways to Thriving summit April 10, 2018. “I’m terribly sorry as the face of this institution … but I’m exceedingly grateful that you came, this has been so inspiring in so many ways.”

This first ever summit for survivors was held to include sexual assault survivors in the discussion on where the Academy has been and how it moves forward, according to organizer Dr. Kimberly Dickman, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program manager at USAFA.

The two-day summit included a wide-variety of presenters who discussed topics ranging from the neurobiology of healing and mindfulness to the institutional response and procedures that occur when an assault is reported.

“But more importantly, we built in several hours for attendees to brainstorm with each other and I think that was the value of getting them all in the room together,” Dickman said. “These working groups were tasked with coming up with improvements to our current SAPR efforts and presenting those ideas to leadership for implementation.”

The sessions were closed to the media to protect the privacy of survivors and at the same time promote open dialogue and free exchange of ideas on a topic often hard to discuss. The audience included current cadets and cadets from as far back as the 1970’s as well as social workers, psychologists and sexual assault experts. This exchange of ideas is crucial to Silveria.

“I talk about better ideas a lot in my role as superintendent, whether those ideas have to do with academic schedules or how we engage the community or how we help solve the Air Force’s pilot shortage,” Silveria said. “But I can think of no better place where the power of better ideas can make a difference than in the area of sexual assault prevention and response.”

Silveria closed the summit with a blunt assessment of the issue of sexual assault.

“We all know we have a problem,” he said. “If we have one sexual assault that is a problem and I’m committed to confronting this problem and taking it on directly like having summits, meeting with survivors. I’m absolutely committed to that. This is foundational that we must treat each other with respect and dignity.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Take a look at @usairforce Airmen assigned to the @109thAW using their ski-equipped C-130s to deliver supplies to the Arct…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you to Gen CQ Brown & the @PACAF team for the outstanding work organizing one of largest gatherings of Pacific A…
RT @DeptofDefense: Flying side by side gets the mission done. @usairforce and @RoyalAirForce participated in exercise Point Blank with @NAT
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Getting to see a chaplain in a remote location is a #blessing. Archbishop of U.S. Military Services Timothy Broglio recently…
RT @AFWERX: Did you catch @EdwardsAFB’s first-ever @TEDx event? There’s no doubt their theme, “Laying the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Innovat…
RT @DeptofDefense: Press ▶️ to get motivated by watching this video of exercise #MobilityGuardian19, Air Mobility Command's largest full-sp…
.@SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett recently testified to the #SenateArmedServicesCommittee on privatized #military hou… https://t.co/XktLL4cXBB
RT @US_Stratcom: Whether it’s a defender, missile alert facility manager or a missileer, everyone is vital to the intercontinental ballisti…
RT @AFResearchLab: The @AF_SBIR_STTR team alongside the Wright Brothers Institute hosted the first @usairforce Technology Executive Office…