SAPR office adapts to continue 24/7 mission support

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jalene A. Brooks
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The Air Force District of Washington Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, and Joint Base Andrews’ Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates, continue to offer 24/7 support for people who experience incidents of sexual assault throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

By leveraging virtual platforms, representatives can now remotely assist Airmen through the reporting process over the phone and via email, if requested, to satisfy the current social distancing standards implemented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and to allow their clients heightened privacy and ease of access to these resources regardless of proximity.

“With face-to-face resources being limited, we want you to know that we are still available,” said Maria Lee, Joint Base Andrews’ SAPR program manager. “Our nation is going through a difficult time. COVID-19 is a serious threat to our health and well-being. [The SAPR office] is taking the necessary safety precautions to keep everyone healthy while continuing to provide support to those that need it.”

SAPR personnel continue to offer services in office by appointment only. 

When meeting with survivors in person, representatives maintain a healthy work environment by wearing face coverings, disinfecting cubicles and offices each day and respecting social distancing standards when possible to further protect the health and safety of others.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required the Air Force to adapt quickly and smartly in a rapidly changing environment and we have risen to that challenge,” said Veronica Griffin, AFDW’s SAPR program manager. “People may be social distancing, but support and services are always available, so stay connected and be aware of your resources.”

Griffin has been burning the candle on both ends, implementing the necessary updates to reporting procedures for victims as well as working to make the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response trainings accessible to Airmen in their homes.

“The required annual training on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response needs to be agile to these changing conditions,” said Griffin. “The Air Force District of Washington Commanders and Directors will be authorized to deliver the Air Force SAPR Talking Points to professionals in their units as they deem appropriate, and should consider utilizing means that will increase connectedness such as video or telephone conferencing, recorded videos and other communication channels.”

When calling the SAPR Hot-Line to report an incident, Airmen are met with three reporting options; restricted, unrestricted and independent reporting.

Restricted reporting allows survivors of sexual assault confidentiality and will not initiate an official investigation. Airmen must contact the SARC, a Victim Advocate or a military health care provider to elect this option.

Restricted reporting is available to active duty military members and their spouse and dependents who are 18 years or older and all DoD civilians.

To make an unrestricted report, call the SARC Hotline at (877) 316-4689. A trained SARC is available 24-hours a day to connect those in need with resources and support quickly, safely and easily. A representative will walk the client through the available reporting methods and provide support throughout the reporting process.

Those who choose the unrestricted reporting option  can initiate an official investigation requiring the involvement of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation, the survivor’s chain of command, and local law enforcement as well as the SARC, Victim Advocate or SAPR.

Independent reporting is available for those other than the victim who want to report an assault such as a bystander or someone who witnessed a sexual assault incident.

The AFDW SAPR office provides policy oversight and guidance to the 11th Wing SAPR program offices located at Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling and the Pentagon.

The Joint Base Andrews and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling offices are currently open and accepting appointments.

Use the numbers listed below to contact your local SAPR Hotline.

The  JBAB SAPR 24/7 hotline number is 202-767-7272 (SARC).

The JBA 11th Wing SAPR 24/7 hotline number is 301-981-7272 (SARC).

The AFDW SAPR toll free 24/7 hotline number 1-877-316-4689 available to support geographically separate units not located on an installation worldwide.