Air Force report on sexual assault highlights program progress

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The 2015 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in DoD was released on Thursday.  Air Force reports of sexual assault decreased slightly in fiscal year 2015, while reporting by male victims increased.

Earlier in that year, the Air Force hosted its first Sexual Assault Prevention Summit, bringing together two Los Angeles Air Force Base Airmen, Airmen from across the service within Department of Defense and external experts to better understand and address Airmen’s issues.

“I think we’re making progress on sexual assault and heading in the right direction, but I’m certainly not satisfied that the work is done,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “We have to keep up the focus and pressure to make sure we are taking care of victims. We have to make sure more Airmen – male and female – feel comfortable reporting, which enables us to follow up appropriately in the justice system.”

“Our representatives expressed that attending the first Sexual Assault Prevention Summit was a positive experience, to be able to participate in the conference working towards understanding, prevention and proactive planning for a five year strategy towards prevention and intervention of sexual assault.” said Christine Hayes, Los Angeles Air Force Base Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

A positive sign in the 2015 report is the increase in male reporting, which rose by 5.4 percent in unrestricted reports and 6.3 percent in restricted reports, said James A. Cody, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force.

“Every victim of sexual assault responds differently and requires different support to become a strong survivor. We want Airmen to come forward and seek help, and it's our job as leaders to instill confidence that they'll receive the care and support they need,” said Cody. “We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible care and support to our Airmen, and I want our Airmen to know they can trust their leaders to support them when they file a report of sexual assault.”

The Air Force compares prevalence rates to reporting rates to evaluate Airmen’s confidence in coming forward to report sexual assault and receive support. Ideally, the service wants to eliminate the gap between prevalence of the crime and the number of reports received, then see both numbers come down to zero, said Col. Mark Ramsey, the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Operations Director.

According to the report, the Air Force increased its focus on prevention efforts over the past year, hosting a summit to understand Airmen’s perspectives and implementing a five-year prevention strategy focused on eliminating sexual assault.

“As long as we have even one report of sexual assault in the Air Force, we have a problem,” said Ramsey. “We’re going to continue to draw on every resource at our disposal, and thankfully, we have the best resource in the world – American Airmen. I’m confident our Airmen will continue to drive change across our force and move us toward our goal of eliminating sexual assault.”

                                                                      
Los Angeles Air Force Base has established a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program to coordinate sexual assault victim care. Upon receipt of a report of sexual assault, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator will assign a Victim Advocate to help obtain necessary services and to provide crisis intervention, referral and ongoing non-clinical support.

Support will include providing information on available reporting options and resources so victims can make informed decisions. The Victim Advocate will accompany victims, if desired, to investigative interviews, medical examinations and follow-up appointments. Your VA will assist until support is no longer needed.

 

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program

24-Hour Crisis Line: (310) 653-7272

Los Angeles Air Force Base
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
61st ABG/CVS
Bldg. 272, Room C2-210
El Segundo, Calif. 90245
(310) 653-7272 / 653-7272
DSN: 633-7272 / 633-7272