Sexual assault victim advocates available to Kunsan members

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Michael Chandler
  • 8th Fighter Wing sexual assault response coordinator
Sexual assaults are a challenge to our nation, and the military isn't immune to this challenge. 

  To address this national problem, Department of Defense and Air Force leadership created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program. The program uses sexual assault response coordinators, or SARCs, to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of all sexual assault victims. 

  SARCs are employed at all military bases and serves as the single point of contact to integrate and coordinate sexual assault victim care. The SARC's office is responsible for ensuring a victim support system is provided 24 hours a day. 

  But SARCs can't support this program themselves. There are those behind the scenes who tend to the emotional, administrative and informational needs experienced by victims. Known as victim advocates, the 8th Fighter Wing provides a rigid 40-hour Air Force training course to ensure wing-wide volunteers are available when needed. 

  Victim advocates provide time both on and off duty to victims, ensuring they victims of an assault receive the care needed to begin the healing process. It takes a special person to be a victim advocate. Advocates are forced to move outside their comfort zones as many have never dealt with a sexual assault before. 

  With training, empathy and maturity, they're able to assist in very sensitive situations. Victim advocates accompany the victim, at the victim's request, during investigative interviews and medical examinations. They also provide information and available options to assist the victim in making informed decisions about his or her case. 

  Kunsan recently graduated its newest victim advocates. They are: 1st Lt. Amy Clements, Master Sgt. Carolene Darling, Staff Sgts. John Choi, Marina Lopez, Tiwanda Wilson, Sharma Haynes, Shalanda Hill and Senior Airmen Brittany Jackson and Nakisha Simon. 

  Kunsan members with question about the SARC program can call 782-7252.