Ho'okele Staff | Apr 29, 2016
Story and photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden15th Wing Public Affairs
The 15th Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) office recently hosted the third annual leaders summit to better equip Hickam leaders with the knowledge to support victims of sexual assault.
The educational event included presentations from three guest speakers who spoke about ways to help leaders better support sexual assault survivors and understand the reporting and investigative process.
Col. Randy Huiss, 15th Wing commander, opened the summit by addressing the importance of continuing to work on prevention and awareness throughout the year.
“This is a significant issue,” he said. “First you have to acknowledge you have a problem, and I think we’ve done that by being here today. Let’s continue to do our part as leaders to protect, support and lead.”
Huiss said we have a long way to go as a society, but we’re heading in the right direction.
“This month is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, but we can’t only put our effort into this month—we have to continue this in our day-to-day lives,” he said. “Parents trust us with their most prized possession—their sons and daughters— and they should feel comfortable in knowing they are going to a safe place.”
In addition to Huiss, the guest speakers, Anne Munch, Dr. Ted Cross, and Dr. Jennifer Freyd, each educated more than 60 attendees on topics such as the effects of retaliation and victim blaming, how the collection of evidence impacts victims, and the impact of institutional betrayal on the well-being of victims.
“The presenters are all well-known experts and researchers in the field of sexual assault prevention and response and contributed to the understanding of reporting, investigations, persecutions and after care for sexual assault survivors,” 1st Lt. Molly Morrissey, 15th WG deputy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, said.
Though the topic was the same, Morrissey said the event differed from the annual SAPR training attendees receive. The speakers provided a more well-rounded and specific approach to prevention and response based on their studies and professional experiences, which included information on sexual assault forensic exams, the use of evidence in the investigative process, and the impact of the response and support to a sexual assault survivor after reporting that can directly affect their healing processes.
Morrissey said the speakers’ expert knowledge in the military and civilian sectors better equipped the leaders and other members of the military family to promote prevention and support sexual assault survivors.
“My hope is, that by learning this valuable information through the presentations, the leaders gained insight and knowledge to be able to support survivors, not just in April, but every day,” she said.