The Department of Defense is reviewing its policy regarding sexual assault prevention and response in the military.
The Pentagon released a new report this week showing the number of sexual assaults in the military is up. The head of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program was arrested for sexual assault and battery this weekend.
And one of the tips in the prevention and response program is creating quite a stir.
In the brochure given to each member of the Air Force on sexual assault prevention and response, the tip that is causing a lot of controversy is number two.
It reads, "it may be advisable to submit [rather] than to resist. You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon."
It's one of 36 different tips for avoiding an attack and in an interview with Air Force officials today, they say they are not suggesting someone simply give up, but rather judge the safest approach to a scenario.
"The pamphlet offers 36 different tips regarding ways to prevent an attack and protect yourself in various scenarios. One of the scenarios highlighted what to do if faced with a life-threatening situation. One accepted approach in a life or death situation would be to submit rather than resist. The intent of the brochure is to help people think through various scenarios in hopes of being better prepared should they ever encounter one," said USAF Capt. Candice Adams Ismirle.
Bill Goecking with the Smith County Sheriff's Department has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and has seen many different scenarios play out in a sexual assault. He says, in the end, the victim simply must do what ever they can do to survive.
"It's one of those things that person who comes into your home or into a place where they can grab you, if it is a kidnapping type of situation or false imprisonment. If you have that type of situation, that is always a victimized situation. So whatever they have to do to survive, I say just do it. It's a common sense thing," Lt. Goecking said.
The Department of Defense says they hope a new plan and its implementation will reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual assault within the military.
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