Local bases step up war against sexual assault

Published: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 05:27 PM.

While all airmen receive some sexual assault training, the victim advocate course goes into more depth about the problem, what types of responses the victim might have and what resources are available to help.

If a victim comes forward and chooses, Morrison can call on an advocate in the age range, sex and line of duty that they request.

“The advocates can follow them throughout the whole process and be on call 24/7 for that person and whatever they might need,” Morrison said.

Their duties can run the gamut — from taking victims to the hospital to offering them support in interviews with law enforcement and helping them through the court process.

In accordance with a law passed last year, discussions between an advocate and victim are confidential; law enforcement cannot compel their disclosure, Morrison said.

The training course also teaches about the type of culture that can make perpetrators feel they can get away with sexual assault, which includes sexist or racist attitudes or behavior, Morrison said. Advocates can take that knowledge back to their units.

“Having that awareness, now when they see something that they previously might have thought harmless, they can set the standard by saying we don’t tolerate this,” she said.

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