Keeping the Pack Strong: Your SARC
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Editor’s Note: This is the fifth article in a series designed to highlight helping agencies and resiliency at Kunsan Air Base.
Helping agencies support and enhance the physical, spiritual, social and mental pillars for Air Force service members and their families. At Kunsan, helping agencies support the Wolf Pack, promote resiliency and ensure Airmen are fit to fight.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program office is responsible for responding to reports of sexual assault, providing outreach, education and training to Airmen and Department of Defense civilians to help prevent incidences of sexual assault. The Kunsan program is run by the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator with help from more than 20 Volunteer Victim Advocates.
“As the SARC, I connect survivors of sexual assault to the resources and tools they need to make a full recovery,” said 1st Lt. Terryn Pond, 8th Fighter Wing SARC. “I ensure clients feel comfortable, feel valued and received the help they need by being the liaison between them and other base helping agencies.”
The SARC serves as the installation's primary point of contact for integrating and coordinating sexual assault survivor 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 survivor's health and well-being.
To ensure the well-being of sexual assault survivors, SARCs work very closely with other helping agencies on base including mental health, the base chapel and medical. They also work alongside group and squadron commanders and first sergeants to ensure unit climate is both accepting and cohesive while continuing to promote healthy standards.
“By staying connected to units, I am able to ensure those who have filed an unrestricted report are receiving the help and support they need within their units,” said Pond. “I take my responsibility very seriously. Helping Airmen through their individual recovery process, whether by a restricted or an unrestricted report, is the best and most important job I could possibly have in the Air Force.”
As the SARC, Pond leads a team of more than 20 VVAs, to educate and care for Airmen while promoting resiliency across the wing. SARCs and VVAs 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.
“My VVAs are amazing and they all have a true desire to help other Airmen,” said Pond. “Together, we go into units, introduce ourselves and educate Airmen about the SAPR program. The more we can educate our service, the better wingmen we can be by looking out for our brothers and sisters in arms.”
VVAs are essential in educating the base populous. Each VVA is a resource within their own squadron, providing Airmen the opportunity to have a confidential face-to-face meeting with someone within their work center. Like SARCs, VVAs are responsible by law, DOD and Air Force Instructions to protect the confidentiality of both restricted and unrestricted reports.
To contact your SARC, call 782-7272 or the DOD Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247. For more information about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, visit https://www.sapr.mil/ or https://www.resilience.af.mil/SAPR/
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