Questions and answers on Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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  • By 439th AW Public Affairs
  • 439th Airlift Wing
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Air Force has designated April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Maj. Carrie Baker, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Westover, provided answers to these questions.

Q. Why is April Sexual Assault Awareness Month?

A. This largely resulted from work done in the 1990s by the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault which polled many state sexual assault coalitions around the country and came up with April as the commemorative month. When the Department of Defense stood up the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program in 2005, they also choose to recognize April as the SAAM.

Q. When was this put in place?

A. Sexual assault awareness month was nationally recognized in April 2001. In 2009, Barack Obama was the first president to issue a proclamation in recognition of sexual assault awareness month.

Q. How does this month help Airmen?

A. It raises awareness regarding why sexual assault is a crime and continues education on how to prevent sexual assault.

Q. Who does it impact?

A. Everyone -- both men and women. However, the most vulnerable age groups are between 18 to 25 years of age.

Q. How has a sexual assault awareness month impacted the Air Force?

A. It has enhanced the cultural shift to take a stand against this crime and increase the understanding on the impact on retention, the significance of a wingman and how each Airman can make a difference to prevent this crime.

Q. Who can be helped by the SARC?

A. Everyone -- meaning Airmen, civilians and dependents. DoD has made strides in recent over the years to ensure this program is user-friendly. Anyone -- regardless of age, gender or military affiliation -- can reach out the SARC.