Our vision is to establish a national benchmark for recovery and eliminate sexual assault through empowered and engaged Airmen. To accomplish that goal, we educate, advocate and collaborate through our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response teams at all Air Force installations to respond to and stop sexual assault and its harmful effects on the Air Force.
2019 Department of the Air Force Exceptional Victim Advocate: Ms. Teresa Loya, 30 SW, USSF
2019 Department of the Air Force Exceptional Volunteer Victim Advocate: SSgt India Meyers, 18 WG, PACAF
2019 Department of the Air Force Exceptional SAPR Team: Vandenberg AFB SAPR Office, 30 SW, USSF
You never thought you could feel so powerless…so numb. There’s a moment after the shock wears off where you think to yourself; did that really just happen to me? Why would someone do this? Someone you know, someone you thought you could trust.
You try to make up excuses of why it can’t be real and how you embellished the story because you don’t want to remember every detail of what happened. You don’t want to picture it in your head when you go to work or go out with your friends. You try so hard to forget about it, yet, everything you see throughout the day reminds you of that moment. The moment you felt powerless. The moment you felt numb.
Victims of sexual assault seeking help may not know who they can talk to or what resources are available.
Sexual assault victims have two reporting options: restricted and unrestricted.
“I stress the importance of understanding restricted and unrestricted reporting because I don’t want a victim’s case to get reported to the wrong person as this may start an automatic response due to the reporting type used that may not suit their needs or desires of the victim,” said Veronica Sforza, the 482nd Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “Victims of sexual assault need to know the difference between restricted and unrestricted reporting to ensure they know what choices are available to them.”
Who is eligible for SAPR support services?
Active duty members, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members and their dependents 18 and older who are eligible for treatment in the military health system, and Air Force civilian (appropriated and non-appropriated) employees. SAPR provides support for adult sexual assault victims when the perpetrator is someone other than the victim’s spouse or same sex domestic partner.
The Family Advocacy Program manages sexual assault allegations when the alleged offender is the partner in context of a spousal relationship, same sex domestic partnership, unmarried intimate partner relationship or military dependents who are 17 years of age and younger.
What do SARCs do?
The SARC serves as the installation's primary point of contact for integrating and coordinating sexual assault victim care services for eligible recipients. Services may begin at the initial report of sexual assault and continue through disposition and resolution of issues related to the victim's health and well-being. The SARC reports directly to the installation wing commander (or equivalent) or installation vice wing commander, executing the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program at the installation level. SARCs assist unit commanders as necessary to ensure victims of sexual assault receive appropriate and responsive care.
How can I contact my SARC?
Option 1: Visit the DoD Safe Helpline (https://safehelpline.org/search.cfm) and locate the SARC closest to your location.
Option 2: Call your base operator and obtain the phone number for your base SARC.
Option 3: Contact the DoD Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247.
Who do I contact for support if I’m deployed to a small forward operating base with no SARC?
Contact the SARC located nearest to you. If you’re unsure where the nearest SARC is, visit the DoD Safe Helpline website (https://safehelpline.org/search.cfm) or call 877-995-5247. The nearest SARC will be able to assist you and assign a volunteer victim advocate at your location if one is available.
Can my restricted report be made unrestricted by someone else?
Your report will remain restricted and confidential. However, if another individual reports your assault to their chain of command or law enforcement, an investigation will be initiated if the case falls under the jurisdiction of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Can I report a sexual assault that happened prior to my military service, on TDY or on leave?
Yes, your SARC will take your report of sexual assault regardless of when or where the assault occurred. If you choose to make your report unrestricted, the SARC will help notify the appropriate law enforcement officials.
Can I report a sexual assault to a SARC from another service or base?
Yes, with the exception of Air Force civilian employees. If you are eligible for SAPR support services, then you can file a report with any DoD SARC regardless of location. However, Air Force civilian employees are currently the only Department of Defense civilian employees eligible for SAPR services, and can only receive SAPR services from Air Force SARCs and SAPR victim advocates.
How do I know my information will be protected if I make a restricted report?
SARCs and SAPR victim advocates are responsible by law and Department of Defense and Air Force Instructions to protect the confidentiality of both restricted and unrestricted reports. SAPR personnel who violate confidentiality rules are subject to the full range of disciplinary action ranging from administrative action to court-martial, depending on the status of the individual in question and the nature of the violation.
How to reporting to a SARC, a SAPR victim advocate or a volunteer victim advocate?
All three are nationally certified to support victims of sexual assault, can take both restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault and have confidentiality under military regulations. All can provide exceptional care and support for victims, SARCs and full time SAPR victim advocates also have additional administrative and managerial duties.
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DOD Safe Helpline
Medical services are available at your local VA Medical Center and can be accessed by contacting the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator (or Women Veterans Program Manager). Assessment and referral for sexual trauma counseling is available at all Vet Centers. Onsite counseling is available at selected Vet Centers across the country.
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