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MTANG participates in Bystander Intervention Training

Great Falls, Mont. -- Last week at the National Guard Professional Education Center in Little Rock Arkansas, the wing sexual assault response coordinator, or SARC, became fully trained to conduct bystander intervention training for the annually required Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training to enhance the annual training Airmen receive.

The new training is unlike Air Force training typically conducted in large groups without much interaction between facilitator and the students.

Bystander Intervention Training is geared for small groups no larger than twenty-five Airmen per class, 90-minutes in length, segregated between male, female and senior leadership, and provides opportunity for much interaction between the facilitator and the class.

The underlying objective of the training is to teach each Airmen valuable interactive skills development, which will help them to stop sexual assaults before they occur.

"This training is designed to get prevention at the forefront of our SAPR programs," said Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, the Air Force Personnel Center commander and former Department of Defense Joint Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response commander.

Annual SAPR training for Air Force members also covers the entire cycle of reporting, response and accountability including the role of installation sexual assault response coordinators.

"The bystander intervention training the Air Force has developed will help educate and provide Airmen the right skills to help intervene in potential assaults," said Alice Nuttall, the National Guard training analyst. "Intervening asks a lot of a person, and until you know what to look for and how to help, you're less likely to step into an uncomfortable situation. This training will help everyone feel more prepared to do so and break the cycle of sexual assault."

Bystander intervention programs have been used successfully in many college campuses and have been credited with greatly reducing the number of sexual assaults of the target age group of 18 to 24.

"The Bystander Training briefs are presented to ensure the key messages from DOD and the Air Force are part of the process," said the National Guard Bureau SAPR Program Manager, Jane Lux. "We incorporate the expertise of subject matter experts on our staff to help develop our curriculum."

The Air Force has also acquired extensive advice and consultation from nationally recognized experts in sexual assault prevention.

Overall, AFPC SAPR operations oversees the development, implementation, and management of the SAPR program to support major command and installation level SARCs in executing established policies. From developing the training and workshops for new SARCs and victim advocates to SARC deployment preparation and sourcing issues this training is well developed.

For more information on sexual assault prevention, response or reporting procedures, or to becoming a victim advocate, contact your installation SARC. Information is also available on the DOD SAPR Web site at http://www.sapr.mil/.

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