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Department of the Air Force to conduct focus groups on interpersonal violence

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The Department of the Air Force will soon conduct focus groups with Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals about their experiences surrounding interpersonal violence.

The focus groups are scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 26 and consist of interpersonal violence survey participants who volunteered to take part in small-group discussions.

Interpersonal violence ranges from stalking and bullying to domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse.

“Within the interpersonal violence survey, members could opt-in to take part in a limited amount of focus groups. These groups will help us understand our members’ perspectives surrounding interpersonal violence,” said Brig. Gen. April Vogel, director for manpower, personnel, recruiting and services at the National Guard Bureau, and the interpersonal violence task force lead. “Their voices are an imperative piece to determine if we are keeping our Airmen and Space Professionals safe when they face interpersonal violence.”

The focus groups are part of an approach in which the focus-group data, survey data and data gathered from reviewing past cases involving interpersonal violence will be used to identify any themes or proposed areas for improvement.

The survey portion concluded Oct. 9, and approximately 68,000 Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals participated, including civilians.

“Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. We know your time is very valuable. We explored multiple avenues to gather data and this survey was the most comprehensive way to initially reach the Total Force,” Vogel said. “Currently, the collected survey data is being analyzed by our experts, and we will begin to compile our findings.”

A comprehensive review of the findings, to include both the focus group and survey data, is scheduled for early 2021.

The task force stood up in July with the goal of exploring processes, programs and leadership actions associated with keeping Airmen and Space Professionals safe when faced with interpersonal violence situations. The task force will ultimately be developing recommendations for senior leadership review focused on improving Department of the Air Force policies, processes and actions in this area.

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