HomeNewsArticle Display

Victim advocates provide selfless service for Airmen

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) -- When an Airman is assaulted, representatives of the Air Force’s own Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate program stand ready to assist.

Victim advocates are active-duty military members certified by the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program. They are selected by the installation's sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) to provide essential support, liaison services and care to victims.

"Victim advocates deliver the services and assist victims in navigating and understanding the system. Their role is to be available anytime of the day or night to help victims identify needs and address issues," said Sharon Smart, a 2nd Bomb Wing SAPR victim advocate. "They help protect victims from further trauma by preparing them for interviews and examinations and by ensuring their safety."

Responsibilities of an advocate include providing crisis intervention, referral and ongoing nonclinical support, as well as providing information on available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions. They may accompany the victim to medical, investigative, legal and court proceedings with permission.

One 2nd Bomb Wing sexual assault victim advocate said the responsibilities direct him to take a selfless approach when assisting others and getting them back on track.

"If someone's had this devastating event, you want to let them know it is not their fault, make sure they go through a healing process and get back to a point of empowerment," said Staff Sgt. Hersey Pulley.

When victims see the light at the end of the tunnel, is what Pulley said gives him the drive to continue.

"There are times where everything is going wrong; the victim feels like they are being persecuted, people are looking down upon them, they regret saying anything," Pulley said. "The moment where they turn around … is extremely powerful."

Volunteers go through an elaborate selection and certification process in order to provide the best service to victims. This includes an interview with the SARC, attending 40-hour training and obtaining a DOD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification.

"I expect victim advocates to be professional, act with integrity and ensure that victims are protected and treated with respect and dignity,” Smart said. "Potential volunteers should be nonjudgmental, patient, trustworthy, understanding, excellent communicators and be emotionally strong."

The dedication of a victim advocate goes to a whole new level. They ensure the victim continues to receive the necessary care and support until the victim states or the SARC determines support is no longer needed.

"In this program you have to take your time; if you jump in head first thinking you have it figured out you're going to hurt yourself and potentially the victim," Pulley said. "My advice for those interested is to take it to heart, be prepared for the positives and negatives and go slow and steady."

Engage

Twitter
“Resiliency is readiness & readiness breeds culture.” - @CMSAF_Official Connection to others is a basic human need… https://t.co/s6ktJj7jyX
Twitter
Training to be the best on the worst day. #ReadyAF https://t.co/KGwHLG0oVK
Twitter
.@AFWERX is hosting a "Reimagining Energy for the DOD" challenge, seeking solutions to create the future of resilie… https://t.co/oGKgli3pbd
Twitter
The circumstance the family lived in led to constant emotional turmoil, which boiled over when SrA Zatavia Funchess… https://t.co/wY5rG0rdUr
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Born & raised in the Philippines, A1C Antonette Joanne Delos Santos of @97AMW, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering be…
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced the winners of the 2020 Air Force Design Awards, recognizing seven in… https://t.co/1S5zPl3D7s
Twitter
The #USAF has increased aircraft availability & readiness across three of its bases thanks to new sustainment initi… https://t.co/UKmePcUphL
Twitter
The Stormbreaker! No...not Thor's axe, but it packs just as much punch! The Small Diameter Bomb II Stormbreaker is… https://t.co/QzhepbzuhZ
Twitter
Forward presence The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for delivering… https://t.co/GZEGf9CqqT
Twitter
"Doomsday" simulators are coming! The Air Force has awarded the contract for simulators to train E-4B "Doomsday pl… https://t.co/uOko4RNM04
Twitter
Using a try-before-you-buy strategy, a team within the Digital Directorate, headquartered at @Hanscom_AFB, complete… https://t.co/cE0xPkzNSA
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Sports heroes who served. From the basketball court to the baseball diamond and the halls of the U.S. Capitol, find ou…
Twitter
.@AFWERX is announcing the Reimagining Energy Challenge for the @DeptofDefense. https://t.co/3zh486icys
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Coincidence? I don’t think so. Happy National #BossDay to my wingman, @GenCQBrownJr! https://t.co/Wq83UK3r1E
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Last week we had a critical opportunity to meet with the senior leadership of the @USAirForce and @SpaceForceDoD. Like ne…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: .@LukeAFB is fulfilling @SecAFOfficial's priority of strengthening alliances and partnerships by training alongside the @Au
Twitter
Two F-35A Lightning II's get refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker during exercise Enduring Lightning III over Israel.… https://t.co/x7gXt7R7C8
Twitter
.@CMSAF_Official was recognized by Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann for her service as the command chief maste… https://t.co/QpuYvwjU7d
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,293,951
Follow Us