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News > Commentary - "Hurts One Hurts All" -- the 2010 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Theme
"Hurts One Hurts All" -- the 2010 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Theme

Posted 3/31/2010   Updated 3/31/2010 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Carrie Baker
Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator


3/31/2010 - WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- -- Hurts One Hurts All is the 2010 Department of Defense Sexual Assault theme.

This theme is not meant to be a catchy marketing line but rather to highlight a reality on the outcome of this type of crime.

Whenever one of our servicemembers is assaulted, other people are impacted such as significant others, close friends, family members, as well as our workplace colleagues.

According to the Department of Defense officials, a sexual assault can echo throughout a unit and beyond -- degrading readiness, which ultimately impacts the military's ability to work effectively as a team.

Mission readiness is negatively impacted in three ways:

1. The alleged perpetrators can be removed from active duty orders or placed on administrative hold and therefore cannot deploy with their units.

2. Victims may not be able to fulfill their duties or may otherwise not have the ability to
perform the mission as a result of the traumatic events.

3. The attention of the unit leadership shifts from the normal duties involved in maintaining readiness to addressing a victim's needs, investigating the alleged perpetration, and restoring the unit's cohesion and trust.

There are various ways we as a community can prevent the crime of sexual assault from occurring. Bystander intervention (BI) has been endorsed by our leadership as one of those ways. Future sexual assault prevention (SAPR) briefings will teach more about the importance of bystander intervention in relation to sexual assault in the continued effort to raise awareness.

The objective of BI is to teach people how to be pro-social bystanders. These are individuals whose behaviors intervene in ways that impact the outcome positively. Pro-social bystanders aim to support, help and defend others in need of assistance.

The 2010 SAPR theme says it all: Hurts One Hurts All, which illustrates why being a pro-social bystander is important to our fellow airmen, unit and community at large.

For more information about the Department of Defense 2010 Sexual Assault Awareness Month visit www. sapr. Mil, or call Ms. Baker at 413-557-2623.



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