Heidi Jenkins, 118th Wing sexual assault response coordinator, gives a message on ways to prevent sexual assault. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Anthony Agosti)
We all try to be watchful of strangers, but it’s most often someone that we care for, such as a spouse, a boyfriend a girlfriend, a friend, a co-worker, or even a family member who’s most likely to hurt us. In the International Guard, our goal is to strengthen our air force values, so that new airmen understand that interpersonal violence is not okay, and to take action when they see the warning signs. If you see a situation where someone is incapable of giving consent to sex, you can confront the aggressor or check in with the person that looks uncomfortable. You can ask someone else to get involved, or you can create a distraction and defuse the situation. Choose any of these options because it’s most important that you do something. To ensure that you’re ready to do what’s right should you encounter a similar dilemma, talk about examples of what a comfortable response would look like from your experience, as well as potential outcomes of your action or inaction. When you choose to take action and be more than just a bystander, you reinforce air force values and become an example for others.