SAFB program raises awareness of sexual assault Airmen told of prevention, getting help

By Stacy Johnson

A program unique in the Air Force at Sheppard Air Force Base allows airmen in training the opportunity to help their fellow wingmen in a time of need.

The program, Students Against Sexual Assault and Harassment, or SASH, started last May and now boasts 23 airmen in training, according to Sexual Assault Response Coordinator office assistant Capt. Jaimie Gallego. She said SASH volunteers have two main purposes at Sheppard.

“The purpose of SASH is twofold. First, we train them about preventing sexual assaults before they happen by informing their peers. Second, we train them to be able to tell the victim where to go on base for help after an assault occurs,” Gallego said.

She said the SASH program was developed because SARC felt airmen in training would respond better to their peers in terms of both reporting incidents and learning about prevention. The SASH volunteers are also invaluable in providing information effectively to the airmen-in-training.

“When people hear information from their peers it has more of an impact,” Gallego said. “It’s also good because we can find out what will be the most effective way to reach the airmen-in-training population, whether it be through briefings, fliers, dorm meetings or final forums.”

She said volunteers for the program will make a difference, both in crisis situations and in preventing sexual assault and harassment.

“We are looking for men or women who want the opportunity to volunteer for a program that will make a difference in the lives of others,” Gallego said.

Gallego said SASH volunteers will be attending and participating in the Speak Up Speak Out! conference on sexual assault awareness sponsored by Midwestern State University, Sheppard and First Step, Inc. at MSU’s Clark Student Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today.

She said the SARC office offers SASH training every first and third Thursday of the month at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

photo by Stacy Johnson/Times Record News

originally published here

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