by Staff Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/23/2013 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Airmen
from the 56th Security Forces Squadron, Club Five Six staff and the
56th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office recently
conducted a joint bystander intervention exercise Aug. 14 at Club Five
The goal of the exercise was to reinforce and train Club Five Six
bartenders in bystander intervention skills and observe the responses
and procedures of security forces during the joint sexual assault
"We are trying to facilitate more unit cohesion," said Staff Sgt. Steve
Albavera, 56th SFS evaluator. "With sexual assault prevention being a
big topic in the Air Force right now, we want to be proactive and do the
training before the problem escalates. It happens too many times and
many people don't acknowledge it. We want to put the word out there that
bartenders, security forces and the SAPRO are being trained to handle
Three role players, selected from different units across Luke Air Force
Base, acted out a scenario with one male and two females at a bar. One
of the females is being harassed by the male. The bartenders were
unaware of the exercise. The goal was for the bartenders to become aware
the male was harassing the female and call security forces.
"The goal of the exercise was to enhance sensitivity toward victims of
harassment and assault," said Joice Jones, SAPRO coordinator.
After some time, the bartender picked up on the harassment and called
security forces. Security forces Airmen arrived and began questioning
suspects and witnesses at the scene. The simulated victim was later
taken to another section of the room where counselors from the SAPR
office counseled her and informed her of reporting options.
Bartenders received bystander intervention training from the SAPR office
prior to security forces arriving. Alyce White, Club Five Six
bartender, said she welcomes the training.
"I'm looking forward to learning something new," White said. "I haven't
seen anyone sexually harassed but you never know. Everybody seems to be
pretty well mannered. I've never even had to tell someone they have had
too much to drink."
Alcohol is often involved in cases of sexual harassment and sexual
assault. Training bartenders to recognize signs of sexual harassment and
sexual assault and informing the community are important in the
prevention of similar cases.
"More than 80 percent of sexual assault allegations come out of a date
rape drug scenario with alcohol being the number one date rape drug,"
Jones said. "The line between consent and nonconsent when alcohol is
used can become blurred, just like one's ability to drive. In an
environment where alcohol is served, there is a role for bartenders to
keep an eye out for the dynamics of a person under the influence of
alcohol to prevent negative outcomes."
The training is part of a larger effort in Arizona to increase awareness
and participation in bystander intervention of sexual harassment and
The Arizona Department of Health Services, through the Sexual Violence
Prevention and Education Program has an "Arizona Bar Bystander Project,"
a program to train targeted bar staff and bar patrons in bystander
intervention, Jones said. This joint training exercise is in conjunction
with the state's efforts to engage the same type of prevention
strategies here at Luke.