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Expert educates Team Andersen on sexual assault concepts

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Katrina M. Brisbin
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
A sexual assault briefing was held at the Coral Reef Fitness Center Nov. 5 to educate members of Team Andersen in effort to provide a different perspective on the subject of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Anne Munch, a recognized subject matter expert for the Department of Defense for consulting, training and speaking on sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, spoke to approximately 650 people over two all-calls.

"We offered the two different all-calls, one for senior leadership and the other for enlisted members, to help provide a different perspective on the crime of sexual assault," said Capt. Diana Wong, 36th Wing sexual assault response coordinator. "The senior leader call focused primarily on victimology, offender dynamics and statistics. The enlisted call was about consent."

During the enlisted member all-call, Munch talked about differences in opinion of what consent is and what it is to the law.

According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the term consent means a freely given agreement to the conduct at issue by a competent person.

"You and I consent to things every day whether it's allowing someone to borrow your car or asking for assistance," said Munch told the audience. "So what's the difference between those situations and consenting for sex? It's in our minds."

Throughout the all-calls she used examples from cases she's worked as a legal expert and prosecutor to challenge Airmen to examine their thinking when it comes to who the victim is in a sexual assault situation.

Munch also spoke of a third-party influence on sexual assault crimes, beyond the victim and offender, who she named the "unnamed" conspirator. This individual influences victims to blame themselves and influences others to blame victims. The conspirator also causes people to, subconsciously or consciously, judge whether or not a crime was committed based on the victim's behavior rather than the offender's behavior.

In her closing words she encouraged all in attendance to change their focus and to not "Monday morning quarterback" victims referring to a tendency for some to second-guess decisions made by involved parties without knowing all the facts.

"It was great having Munch here," said Wong. "We really appreciate the expert high level perspective that she provides."

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