DoD sexual assault program seeks Wing input

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kristen Stanley
A diverse mix of Hawaii National Guard personnel met with the Director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office at the Hickam AFB, HIANG dining facility to discuss the Hawaii National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program Aug. 12.

The SAPRO Policy Assistance Team is looking for information they can use to assist those professionals in the field to increase SAPR program effectiveness. "Our goal is to determine whether policies and programs are working, where they might be improved, and where additional assistance may be required." states David S.C. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

"The Hawaii Air National Guard has implemented the DoD program by providing the required annual training on Sexual Assault Response, SAPR information to deploying Airmen via the Mobility Processing Center and victim advocacy services to those affected by sexual assault." said Lt Col Merv Oyafuso, the HIANG Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

As a result, the SAPRO wants to ensure that the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response policy fosters an environment that supports victim care and encourages accountability. The visit was not an inspection, but merely a way to see how the program is being implemented and what improvements could be made.

"A DoD instituted program may fit well with the active component, but not necessarily with the Guard," said Lt Col Oyafuso. "The SAPRO PAT visit provided us the opportunity to express some of the disconnect, particularly with the establishment and resourcing of a full time SARC office similar to what the active component has done."

The Office of the Secretary of Defense, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office was established as a permanent office in October 2005 as the single point of accountability for sexual assault prevention and response policy within the Department of Defense.