Air Force releases 2016 sexual assault reports

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Teddy Barbosa
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Air Force reports of sexual assault increased in fiscal year 2016, according to the service’s annual report released May 1.


The Air Force received 1,355 reports of sexual assaults in fiscal 2016, compared to 1,312 in fiscal 2015.


Expressed as a percentage of the total Air Force population, including active duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and appropriated fund civilian employees, 0.21% of Airmen reported a sexual assault in fiscal 2016 compared to 0.20% in fiscal 2015 and 0.21% in fiscal 2014, illustrating a flat trend for annual reports over the last three years.


“As advocates it is not our role to interpret data,” said Deborah Wheeler, Keesler sexual assault response coordinator. “Our role is to create an environment where the victim feels safe and secure coming forward to report.”


The results of the fiscal 2016 sexual assault report will be compared to data from the Defense Manpower Data Center’s 2016 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey, which is conducted every other year for the active duty service branches. The Air Force uses the Workplace and Gender Relations Survey to measure the prevalence of sexual assault in the force.


“The goal of the 81st Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate our community on how to prevent it,” said Wheeler. “We can provide interactive training on how individuals can model supportive relationships and behaviors, call out harmful attitudes, and challenge the societal acceptance of sexual assault.”


Prevention of sexual assault is the responsibility of every Airman, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

"It's about trust,” said Goldfein. “The crime of sexual assault shatters trust and has a direct and negative impact on our capabilities as a warfighting force. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bystander in this fight. We are all in. From the newest Airman to the most senior leader, every one of us has a responsibility to step forward and help stop sexual assault before it happens."


We all together need to implement behaviors that promote safety, respect, and equality, said Wheeler.


Help is just a phone call away: If you have been sexually assaulted, call the Keesler SARC Hotline 24/7 at 228-377-7278.


Information for this story was taken from this article, published on May 1, 2017.

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