by Staff Sgt. Tong Duong
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
1/15/2013 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Sexual
assault is a deplorable act, usually committed against females but also
targeting males. This traumatic event can affect one physically and
emotional as well as the mission.
The 8th Fighter Wing sexual assault response coordinator and SARC
assistant recently revived the Kunsan sexual assault theater group to
help spread the message. More than 35 soon-to-be NCOs attending Airman
Leadership School were in attendance.
"We brought back the working group as a way to open a dialogue and bring
the issues to the forefront," said Capt. Brandon Alford, SARC
assistant. "The organization was put together several years ago and we
are really getting invigorated to do something about the sexual assault
themes in the Air Force. We know this is a hot topic with the chief of
staff right now."
The performance skit and scenario were aimed at future supervisors and
provided different methods to help their Airmen recognize when someone
was ready to talk about a sexual assault.
"Sexual assault is not easy to talk about," Alford said. "It is an
uncomfortable topic, but we need to discuss it openly if we want to
change people's views and ultimately make a stronger culture in the Air
The skits performed by theater group members touched on bystander
intervention, male-on-male sexual assault and "in character" questions
from the audience to the actors.
"There are a lot of things we can do to change views and prevent sexual
assault from happening in the first place," Alford said. "As a
supervisor, wingman or good human being in general, you should be
willing to hear the victim's side. From there, you can figure out how to
continue shaping them, and making them effective in the Air Force and
continuing on with the rest of their life. It is the SARC's job to help
someone heal and to become warfighter capable again."