Sexual assault victims find help through SVC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nate Gettleman
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A new program is now available to help victims of sexaul assault.

The program, known as the Special Victims Council (SVC), helps guide sexual assault victims through the complications of the legal system, much like the judge advocate general helps with legal proceedings.

"This is an opt-in program. All sexual assault victims are made aware of the SVC, but using this resource is not mandatory," said Capt. Nicole Padgett, Kaiserslautern Military Community sexual assault response coordinator (SARC).

Upon reporting a sexual assault, a victim is made aware of the SVC. The SVC can then help the victim decide how to proceed with the case.

Victims have several options when reporting sexual assaults. They can either file a restricted or unrestricted report. An unrestricted report requires the involvement of law enforcement officials, JAG, and the victim's chain of command. In a restricted report, a victim can confidentially report the assault and receive medical treatment, mental healthcare services, or a variety of support needed without law enforcement or command involvement.

"There are a lot of great things we can do for an unrestricted report, but we can also offer many types of assistance with a restricted report," said Capt. Scott Simoneaux, KMC SARC.

The fallout from a sexual assault can last for years after the incident and can affect every aspect of a victim's life, Simoneaux said. The SVC helps victims sort out the details so they can continue living their lives as productive members of society. 

To provide further support for victims of sexual assault, the SVC ensures that program advocates and victims come from different bases.

"We really want to make people aware that the Air Force is taking huge steps on behalf of victims to try to provide more services to them to aid in their healing," said Simoneaux.

The SVC, which began Jan. 28, 2013, is also available for current assault cases that have been open since before the new program went into effect.