Scott Air Force Base focuses on violence prevention issues

Chronicle Media Staff

Col. Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, signs an awareness proclamation April 4 in front of the historical gate at Scott Air Force Base. Back row: Chief Master Sgt. Wesley Mathias, 375th AMW command chief; Col. William Buschur, 375th AMW vice commander; Capt. Ed Jones, Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment program manager; Shannon Dauber; Airman and Family Readiness airman and family services chief; Mauranda Bembry, 375th Medical Group Family Advocacy program manager; Jamie Mattice, 375th AMW Sexual Assault Program and Response specialist; Brenda Wells, 375th AMW primary prevention of violence specialist; Monica Stouffer, A&FRC chief; and Capt. Travis Hough, SAPR deputy sexual assault response coordinator. (Photo courtesy of Scott Air Force Base)

April is a month that brings awareness to many violence prevention issues that impact military members and their families.

This year the 375th Air Mobility Wing is addressing the issues of sexual assault prevention and awareness, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, child abuse prevention, and overall violence prevention in an effort to bring a unified voice for not only stopping violence, but preventing it from happening in the first place.

“One sexual assault, one child who is abused, one death or interpersonal violence incident attributed to alcohol is one too many,” said Capt. Travis Hough, 375th Air Mobility Wing deputy sexual assault response coordinator.

He said too often “we overlook these issues and warning signs as ‘none of my business,’ but the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. Each of us can play a major part in ending these issues that plague us.”

In the past, the installation showcased the teal ribbons along Scott Drive to highlight issues associated with sexual assault and prevention issues, and this year a “Green Dot” has been added to the signs.

Green Dot, the Air Force strategy for primary

prevention of violence, provides bystanders with tools to respond safely when they see something that doesn’t feel right. Airman can use one of the three D’s — direct, distract or delegate — to stop someone from being harmed. They could be checking in with the individual to see if all is good, change a conversation or the activity, or make a phone call. No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.

These tools can be used for any aspect of violence whether it be in the family, with friends or among strangers.

During a recent message to Airmen, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talked about the responsibility that every Airman has to stop sexual assault. This message can be applied to all of the violence and abuse issues.

“Every Airman who demands professionalism in their workplace and in their unit, who insists their fellow Airmen treat each other with dignity and respect, and who enforces professionalism through their words and their deeds is taking action to eliminate assault. Every Airman who embodies our core values every day, on and off duty, in and out of uniform, is supporting a survivor, whether they realize it or not …

“People sometimes define integrity as ‘doing what’s right when no one is looking.’ Integrity is also doing what’s right when everyone is looking. Understanding how to recognize opportunities for intervention is what stops unsafe or unacceptable behaviors.

“That can be learned, and it’s fairly easy. Speaking up when no one else has—that’s the hard part.”

He advised that when a situation just doesn’t “feel right” is the time to have courage to speak up, and said he’s counting on every Airmen to take care of each other all year long, and not just during this awareness month.

To support these combined awareness efforts, the following activities were planned:

  • April 5, 21: DUI simulator at the Exchange from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.;
  • April 7: SAPR Bowl-a-thon, 1:30-3:30 p.m., bowling center;
  • April 7, 12: DUI simulator at the DFAC from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; and
  • April 28: “Strike Out Violence Run” starting at the Parade Field at 7:35 a.m. It’s free and open to all.