- Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall directed changes to bolster the Department of the Air Force’s domestic violence prevention and response efforts. In alignment with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, these changes highlight the DAF’s ongoing commitment to focusing on the experience of survivors and reducing instances of domestic violence. These programs and services will improve trust and transparency, ensuring that survivors know the DAF is doing everything possible to take their concerns seriously.
The DAF actions are the result of a 90-day cross-functional review directed by Kendall in January after an Inspector General investigation was initiated in response to allegations concerning the handling of domestic violence incidents. This investigation found areas for improvement in establishing trust and rapport with survivors.
“There is no place in our Air Force and Space Force family for domestic violence or interpersonal violence in any form,” Kendall said. “While we have taken important steps to better support domestic violence survivors, we must do more to establish trust and build a foundation of respect, responsiveness, and support for survivors of violence. Our review revealed areas where we could clearly improve our efforts to prevent violence and support those impacted by domestic violence. We listened to survivors and are deeply appreciative of the candid insights they provided—their candid perspectives have informed our efforts as we work to create more effective solutions to this heart-breaking issue.”
The DAF will:
• Hire additional domestic abuse victim advocates to serve at the installation level providing needed support to domestic abuse victims and command teams.
• Hire additional civilians to the DAF Family Advocacy Program headquarters staff to improve education and training on domestic violence prevention, awareness and response.
• Establish the Coordinated Community Response Senior Steering Group on Domestic Abuse at the headquarters level, which will meet quarterly starting in FY24 and which will be led by the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and include the inspector general, legal, security forces, medical, personnel, Reserve and Guard advisors. The CCR is central to our strategy for addressing the complex nature of domestic abuse and helping prevent, identify, and respond to domestic and interpersonal violence.
• Require the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s “FAP for Leaders” training for all commanders, first sergeants, and senior enlisted leaders and disseminate the updated response toolkits to command teams.
• Update Department of the Air Force Instruction 51-207, Victim and Witness Rights and Procedures, to ensure that notification of significant events are the same for domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
• Implement an annual domestic violence or intimate partner violence exercise. The exercise will be mandated by DAFI 90-302, the Inspection System of the DAF, and participants will include security forces, Office of Special Investigations, legal offices, FAP personnel, and command teams. Installations are encouraged to include local civilian law enforcement, if available.
For more information on the DAF Domestic Abuse Prevention Program, see their website here. Military One Source also provides Domestic Abuse Prevention materials here.