HomeNewsArticle Display

Sexual Assault Prevention Summit challenges Airmen to lead to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Visiting speakers discussed leaders’ roles in preventing sexual assault at the Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 13 and 14 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Lt. Col. Kevin Basik and Dr. Heather McCauley spoke to 150 Airmen of varying ranks about how leaders can promote a professional culture which deters sexual violence and assault. Basik and McCauley represent a number of scheduled speakers who presented to participants during the course of the five-day summit designed to stimulate discussion about sexual assault in the Air Force.

“We’re talking about shifting and shaping culture,” said Basik, the senior Air Force advisor for professionalism. “We’ve got to get clear about what a professional is, and then develop a culture around it -- a culture of dignity and respect. This is the journey all of us are on. We want to move the culture; we want to move individuals to focus on the right thing.”

According to McCauley, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine, leaders create cultural norms by determining outcome expectation, what ramification will ensue if an individual demonstrates negative behavior. They also set the cultural standard by role modeling positive behavior. If the leader doesn’t feel comfortable doing it, it’s likely that others won’t either.

“Influential leaders are critical to shifting social norms,” McCauley said. “We want to shift social norms including the idea that violence is acceptable and that we can’t do anything about it, because we can.”

Leaders must develop the confidence, competence, and judgment to be able to make the right call when it comes to sexual assault, Basik said. The absence of any one of those factors could hijack prevention efforts. A leader can have his heart in the right place, know what he is doing and still make the wrong call.

In many instances people know what the right decision is, but pressures show up at the gap between deciding and acting, which keep people from doing what they know is right, he said. Some of those pressures include concerns about time and expertise.

Leaders may feel like the necessary conversations remain outside the scope of their job. They may worry about being intrusive, or that they don’t know what to say, McCauley said.

“There are a number of barriers that cross sectors,” she said. “These are all very real, and it’s important that they are said so we can create strategies to address them.”

Consistently crossing the gap between deciding and acting requires leaders to clarify what they are committed to, and step into the person they aspire to be, Basik said. Leadership extends way beyond compliance with Air Force standards to demonstrating a true commitment to leading and developing others.

“We’re back to identities,” he said. “It’s got to start with ownership. You don’t develop other people; you support them in developing themselves.”

Airmen took their notes and insights back to their respective working groups designed to create tools to help the Air Force prevent sexual assault. They were charged to lean into the conversation because everybody has a role in the developmental process.

According to Basik, it starts with thoughts and habits of action.

“You have the ability to shift and change the course of many young men and young women’s lives,” McCauley said.

(Editor's Note: This is the second story in a series of three in recognition of the 2015 Sexual Assault Prevention Summit.)

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: ✈️Planes in the air....Maintenance put them there! https://t.co/gtxVl4klLU
Twitter
RT @RamsteinAirBase: No airfield? No Problem. The 435th CRG enhances their ability to build expeditionary airfields on demand during exerc…
Twitter
Load 'em up! The 60th Aerial Port Squadron is the @US_TRANSCOM's primary west coast aerial port, providing global… https://t.co/MRtQdKCK7h
Twitter
RT @AFWERX: 1 week until #AFWERXAccelerate! We've got networking opportunities each day, as well as the chance for government, industry, an…
Twitter
Maintaining base readiness 👨‍🚒 👩‍🚒 Firefighters assigned to the 48th Civil Engineering Squadron conducted a joint… https://t.co/mMSCCVSR4U
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Happy Monday! Read this over the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate & enjoy peace of mind, & peace in li…
Twitter
Delivering rapid air power The 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron conducted hot-pit refueling in sup… https://t.co/6Q0obGCu5q
Twitter
Congratulations, MSgt Roslyn Ball! Ball credits the mentorship and bonds she’s shared with her fellow military tra… https://t.co/z4QZhr8Pek
Twitter
A passion for aviation and space A1C Sourav Basu Roy, an air transportation specialist assigned to the 482nd Fight… https://t.co/hd6hdkYpIa
Twitter
Joint training Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft participated in “Brother’s Shield,” a Colombian Ai… https://t.co/DErzNXkFQM
Twitter
#SundayRead SSgt Elizabeth McJannet-Bratton was crowned Miss Alaska Collegiate 2021; her platform, Combat Boots to… https://t.co/v99jOVmOkZ
Twitter
Celebrating service @USArmy retired Maj. Anthony Grant has given 45 years of service between the Army and Air Forc… https://t.co/Yzz8IWbaXM
Twitter
#AimHigh! TSgt Kayla Castagnetta helps Airmen deploy and creates them as well. She is the only qualified Airman wh… https://t.co/Xg7Z1GErZ4
Twitter
In today’s competency-based approach to Force Development, the #USAF will now be able to capture an Airman’s knowle… https://t.co/Uem2kWikrw
Twitter
Because the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s focus is on training mobility Airmen, the intel flight generates training miss… https://t.co/PG4doMIqvO
Twitter
Col David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, recognizes the contributions of Native Americans in honor of Am… https://t.co/8wYjxE8iWO
Twitter
'Tis the season ❄️ Special warfare Airmen conduct training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The small… https://t.co/SGjNKpNdYf
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: ICYMI: F16s from @Spangdahlem_AB are in the @CENTCOM AoR as part of a dynamic force employment to deter aggression & promote…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,314,236
Follow Us