HomeNewsArticle Display

Sexual Assault Prevention Summit offers multiple tactics to prevent sexual assault

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Leaders in academia, government, and industry presented cutting-edge research related to sexual violence at the Sexual Assault Prevention Summit Jan. 13, 14, and 15 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Dr. Andra Tharp, Dr. Gilbert Botvin, and Dr. Dorothy Edwards spoke to 150 Airmen about sexual assault prevention models, as well as strategies to overcome prevention barriers and risk factors through life skills and effective bystander intervention and training.

The speakers represent the many leaders and experts who presented current research and perspectives to participants during the five-day summit designed to engage Airmen of varying ranks and career fields in a conversation about sexual assault in the Air Force.

“Sexual violence is a significant public health problem,” said Tharp, a health scientist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention. “It really does have a ripple effect through individual lives and through an entire community.”

According to Tharp, a public health approach to sexual assault prevention includes defining the problem, identifying risk and protective factors, and developing effective strategies to stop sexual violence before it starts.

Sexual violence and related problem behaviors are the result of the complex interaction of risk factors, such as alcohol and drug use, poor decision making, peer pressure and media influence, said Botvin, a Ph.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College.

“There is no single cause of violence,” Tharp emphasized. “It’s the confluence of risk factors that causes violence.”

Edwards, the executive director of Green Dot Etcetera said the external risk factors are compounded by individual barriers to taking action. Every person has their own personal barriers to overcome, such as shyness or fear.

Successful prevention strategies will leverage protective measures, such as emotional health, empathy and connectedness to offset risk factors, Tharp said. Comprehensive approaches will impact individuals to communities for a “surround sound effect.”

Botvin expressed that each intervention designed to offset these external and internal risks should be developed to impact attitudes, knowledge and behaviors. The life skills approach decreases vulnerability to risks by bolstering social skills, teaching self-management, and increasing resilience.

“We do not assume that people know how to cope with stress and anxiety, and we provide them with specific skills,” Botvin said. “The skills I’m talking about are not taught in any systematic way. All of us kind of blunder through life, learning some of these things if we’re lucky.”

All the speakers agreed that an effective sexual violence prevention strategy will be multi-faceted. There is no single magic bullet that will work. Consequently, each of these strategies will only be effective if Airmen own the process.

“There is no policy, order or directive that can force an Airman to find some way to step in and do something,” Edwards said. “Prevention only works, we’re only going to get where we want to be, if we can engage intrinsic motivation.”

Throughout the summit, Airmen took the information from each session and applied it in working groups designed to create tools to help the Air Force prevent sexual assault.
As they tackled the significant issue with lots of new information, Airmen were warned against falling into the trap of taking on too much at once.

“Don’t sacrifice depth for breadth,” Tharp said. “Choose a few key risk factors or a few key approaches and really invest in those to get things started.”

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

Engage

Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Airmen load up a C-130J Super Hercules before heading to #Bulgaria for Thracian Fall 2020. The @usairforce trains with B…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen and Soldiers from the @CTNationalGuard delivered 21,000 cases of water from @fema to towns throughout the state in…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Official #ReadyAF
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA TOMORROW at 9:30AM ED… https://t.co/ok6km7nFoS
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates, Let me start with 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖. https://t.co/xU6U3QuZV7
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Engaging through listening sessions, senior leaders are hearing directly from #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals on diversi…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: JUST IN: Three #B2 Spirits from @Whiteman_AFB deployed to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia in support of #BTF missions. @IND
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The #Airmen at @Creech_AFB make a global impact 24/7. The RPAs they operate provide vital intelligence and strike capabi…
Twitter
"I'm confident that our Air Force can continue to be the most dominant and respected Air Force in the world." -… https://t.co/PZQzLUGBxz
Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
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
1,266,871
Follow Us