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SAPR training gets new look for 2015

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The term "annual training" won't necessarily apply to Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training for 2015. The traditional once per year training session has been replaced with a system that calls for periodic training throughout the year.

"SAPR every day is what the Air Force wants," said Paula Krause, Schriever sexual assault response coordinator. "They're hoping it will keep everybody a little more focused [on prevention]."

The 2015 SAPR training schedule will include one 90-minute large group session, and three small group sessions to be done once per quarter. This quarterly training requirement will help keep SAPR fresh in people's minds.

"I want to give a big 'A' to the Air Force for the training change," said Cecilia Smith, sexual assault victim advocate. "They don't want it to be just once a year focus on SAPR. They want a discussion every day so if people hear about SAPR more, they'll be more willing to discuss it."

Krause said SAPR training has evolved since the first SAPR down day in June 2012.

"They started three years ago with the SAPR down day, which was the first time they had done one of those and was driven by some of the things going on in the Air Force (at that time)," Krause said. "After that large group training, they decided they needed to do some small group training as well."

The current 90-minute large group sessions, titled "Respect the Red Line," are held in the auditorium on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. and the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. and are led by either Krause or Smith. These sessions are scheduled to be available until the end of September.

"The Air Force felt having the 90-minute SAPR-led training would have the subject matter experts giving everybody a solid 90 minutes on the topic," Krause said. "The purpose (of multiple sessions) was to have the subject matter experts address it first, and then have the smaller groups address it as well."

The small group sessions will be facilitated by a member of each individual group, squadron or unit and can be held at any time. Only one small group session may be held per quarter to meet the training requirement.

Any member may be a facilitator for the small group sessions, though their squadron commander gives final approval for who may be a facilitator. The small groups should be between 10 and 15 people and larger squadrons may have more than one small group facilitator if necessary.

"The concept is everybody learns in different ways," Krause said. "They get the overall picture with the large group, and then within the small focus groups they can nail down what they think they need to do within the unit."

There are a number of topics available for squadrons to choose from for the small group sessions, however, there are two mandatory training topics, "Male Victimology" and "How to Talk to a Survivor." Some of the optional topic offerings include, "Primary Prevention," "Drinking and Consent," "Successful Convictions" and "Sustaining a Culture of Respect."

Members can decline to attend the SAPR training if they are uncomfortable with the topic. Individuals will need to check in with the SAPR office to be excused. Individuals do not need to make a report to be excused from the training. The SAPR office will work with unit training managers to ensure the individual is recorded as completing the training requirement.

For more information, contact the SAPR office at 567-7634.
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