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Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody talk on the importance of preventing sexual assault in the Air Force and Airmen taking care of one another.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program reinforces the Air Force's commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness and prevention training, education, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability. The Air Force promotes sensitive care and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes.

Sexual assault is criminal conduct. It falls well short of the standards America expects of its men and women in uniform. Specifically, it violates Air Force Core Values. Inherent in our core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do is respect: self-respect, mutual respect and respect for our Air Force as an institution.

Our core values and respect are the foundation of our wingman culture -- a culture in which we look out for each other and take care of each other. Incidents of sexual assault corrode the very fabric of our wingman culture; therefore, we must strive for an environment where this type of behavior is not tolerated and where all Airmen are respected.

Sexual assault defined

Sexual Assault

For the purpose of this Directive and SAPR awareness training and education, the term "sexual assault" is defined as intentional sexual contact characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. The term includes a broad category of sexual offenses consisting of the following specific UCMJ offenses: rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit these acts. (AFI 36-6001)

"Consent" is defined as words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the  sexual conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of  consent through words or conduct means there is no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the one accused use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the sexual conduct at issue shall not constitute consent. There is no consent where the person is sleeping or incapacitated, such as due to age, alcohol or drugs, or mental incapacity.

Secretary of Defense Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

Each April, the Department of Defense observes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month and commits to raising awareness and promoting the prevention of sexual violence. This year's theme, "We own it... We'll solve it... Together," emphasizes our commitment to solving the problem of sexual assault in the many ways we work within each service, across the department and in our communities to combat this issue.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel explains the importance of working together on this effort.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, message to the force on Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


SAPR Resources

Shared Practices CC's Guide - Additional Resources
Click here for more SAPR resources
(Updated as of July 2013)

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Air Force Chief of Staff "Sexual assault has no place in our Air Force. We live in a culture of respect. We cherish our core values of integrity, service, and excellence. But in order to ensure all Airmen experience and benefit from those values, we must eliminate sexual assault in our ranks."

General Mark A. Welsh III
Air Force Chief Of Staff

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