Root Cause Analysis of Sexual Assault: Shifting from Early Detection to a Vaccine
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
Pagination or Media Count:
With good intention, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force labeled sexual assault as a cancer however, it is precisely this thinking that hinders a successful prevention strategy, focusing on early detection of the disease rather than a vaccine. Unarguably, the Air Force needs to remedy the cancer with detection, reporting, and treatment when sexual assault does occur. But current AF prevention is philosophically flawed. Annual education efforts on sexual assault, by-stander training, and predator identification are similar to annual physical exams checking for lumps and early detection of cancer. The AF must change its philosophy from a solely informational strategy to individual skill development. Just as root sources for cancer are mitigated by not smoking, minimal sun exposure, adopting healthy eating habits and alcohol use, sexual assault is mitigated by developing skills in effective communication, relationships, love, and esteem. This paper argues the AF desperately needs to transition from providing facts and narratives to a robust developmental program administering a vaccine aimed specifically at the roots of sexual assault. It investigates these root causes and offers an explanation on how they connect to sexual assault. Finally, the author recommends an infusion of life skills into its Airmen. If DoD and the Air Force continue to promote the goal of eliminating sexual assault from its ranks, it must invest in its members with a vigorous program like Skills for Life otherwise it is an unrealistic goal and the leaderships stance is simply rhetoric.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations