May 2012 SARC's remarks



Commentary by Val Cook
82nd Training Wing SARC Chief


5/8/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Hello and a big "thank you" to all who helped make this year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) events a huge success. While we address sexual assault issues each day, it's our month to focus on ways of bringing this crime to center stage.
Secondly, I want to be sure those reading this column understand the definition and meaning of sexual assault. Many assume that a sexual assault must contain violence from a stranger, when in reality, most assaults take place with victims knowing their perpetrator, thinking they were a friend. ANY unwanted, deliberate sexual contact, from inappropriate touching to rape, oral/anal sodomy, is a crime!! So why don't more victims report? There are several theories.....

The rape is not as bad if you know the rapist

If you don't report, it's not rape

If you don't resist or fight back, it isn't rape

I don't want to remain at this base any longer than I have to

Leadership won't believe me -- after all, I was drinking and flirting

It's not rape if a person is too drunk or high to resist sex

It's my fault, I shouldn't have __(fill in the blank)________________________

Leadership on Sheppard AFB is dedicated to eliminating sexual assault within our ranks, but we need your help. All too many feel sexual assault happens only to AiTs, but that is simply not true. Sexual assault has no boundaries and anyone can fall victim to this crime.

If you feel you have been a victim of sexual assault, you CAN get help. You have options, don't suffer in silence. Sexual assault is a crime, and there is no place for this behavior in our Air Force. We demand better of ourselves, after all, "Hurt one...affects all!"

If you feel that you've been a victim of sexual assault, we're here for you 24/7. Call us at 676-7272. I'm anxious to hear from you, so e-mail me your comments.