Violence Prevention Summit gives new tools to Laughlin Airmen

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  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Laughlin recently hosted a Violence Prevention Summit to reinforce skills in identifying behavioral threat concerns and effective communication.

Every profession requires the ability to not just talk with people but to understand them, their experiences, and backgrounds. The target audience was first responders and leadership and focused on working in those fields more effectively.

"I am hoping that attendees gain knowledge and skills to increase our community safety within their area of influence," said Sabrina Pena, 47th Flying Training Wing Violence Prevention Integrator. "There will be focus in both session on de-escalation and communication to increase the attendees' skills in increasingly contentious situations to either prevent or stop interpersonal violence."

This summit is part of a more significant violence prevention effort throughout the wing.

"One instance of sexual assault, harassment, or any form of interpersonal violence is too many," said Col. Craig Prather, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. "The responsibility resides in all members of the 47th FTW to do everything we can to ensure our members and families flourish."

Training remains a vital aspect of improvement, and Laughlin has developed a plan to underscore violence prevention training through nearly every stage of professional development.

Violence prevention remains the central theme of annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Suicide Prevention Training for the Total Force. The First Term Airman Course, First Term Officer Course, Newcomer’s briefing, and Student Success Week all weave the topic throughout their curriculum.

In addition, the base also emphasizes daily mindfulness of these situations.

"Violence Prevention is more than annual training or the training we do in PME courses," said Pena. "It includes those informal conversations we have with each other where we clearly say that we take care of each other, and interpersonal violence isn't acceptable in our community. Prevention starts with knowing each other so that when we or our wingman need help or need to take a knee, we are there to encourage and support them."

A desire for proactive prevention prompted Laughlin leadership to create Hanger 47, a space dedicated to Airmen that provides a safe entertainment zone.

Laughlin also continues to foster a "No Wrong Door" policy to ensure all members of Team XL get the support they need. The approach ensures a helping agency does not turn away an individual in crisis or with an emergent need even if they may not have gone to the appropriate agency.

"At the end of the day, when these situations happen, there is no wrong door," said Prather. "This policy is about breaking down some barriers between agencies and utilizing data and information effectively to identify risks. What we want is for our leaders and helping agencies to be able to point someone to the right help - to achieve better integration. We cannot think of these issues as a singular challenge. Often, one case bridges multiple areas requiring the expertise of a broad set of agencies."

To better incorporate these aspects into Laughlin's community, the Community Action Team meets monthly to identify and assess community trends, needs, as well as risk and protective factors. The various helping agencies that make up the team have one goal: to provide the best possible support to Team XL.

Laughlin is committed to providing an atmosphere of professionalism, and every Airman plays a role in that effort.

"Interpersonal violence or harassment has long lasting impacts to individuals, families, units and friends and degrades mission effectiveness -- we simply cannot allow this," Prather emphasized. "We must renew our focus on prevention, provide an environment where our members and families thrive, support victims, and ensure proper accountability."

For Laughlin personnel with additional ideas or concerns, please call the Violence Prevention Integrator at (830) 298-4028 or stop by the Integrated Resiliency and Prevention Center in building 468.