Commentary

April 18, 2014

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: OSI’s perspective

Tags:
Special Agent Andrea O'Connor
Air Force OSI, Det. 111 commander

sarc-osi
Sexual assault is a problem that affects our entire society, especially our Air Force.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations’ role in combating sexual assault includes conducting thorough investigations and providing commanders and the legal team with information to help them make decisions and take appropriate legal action.

Unlike the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Chaplain’s Office, which offer confidentiality and restricted reporting to individuals who have experienced a sexual assault, AFOSI is a law enforcement agency and a mandatory reporter. This means AFOSI must investigate any allegations of sexual assault that come to our attention. While the idea of having to speak with someone about such an event can be daunting, please know AFOSI takes pride in treating individuals who report sexual assault with compassion and respect. We work closely with the SARC, the Chaplain and the Legal Office in this regard.

While there are many understandable reasons why an individual may wish to cope with sexual assault trauma without involving others, please consider the following: often times the path to recovery comes from seeking justice and ensuring an offender is no longer able to inflict pain upon others. Many times AFOSI receives information about sexual assaults in which we later find out the offender had past victims who did not speak up. Providing a statement to AFOSI ensures there is a lasting record, which cannot be diminished by passage of time. For many individuals, being part of the investigative process and seeking justice is one powerful step towards recovery.

On a practical, positive note, there have been advances in forensic science and technology, which allow us to collect evidence in increasingly sophisticated manners. If you know or suspect you have been sexually assaulted, please DO NOT destroy, wash, or discard items of clothing or bedding you have in your possession. Also, please note that working with either AFOSI and/or the SARC to accomplish a sexual assault examination kit can be one of the single most useful items available to successfully document, investigate and prosecute the crime.

If you have any questions about AFOSI’s investigative process, or our organization in general, do not hesitate to stop by†Edwards AFB AFOSI Det. 111 in Bldg. 2810.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Tis the season to drink responsibly

It’s that time of year when holiday parties and late night celebrations begin to fill our calendars and we look forward to spending time with family and friends to celebrate our own special reasons for the season. Every Christmas Eve, I celebrate my life and I give thanks for being able to share the holiday...
 
 

Finding lifeís new direction after a loss

Sometimes it takes a difficult situation in your life to not only be reminded of the things you are truly grateful for, but also to serve as a catalyst for change. That moment for me came during the beginning of 2012 when my mother died suddenly at just 43 years old. We had just finished...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Next week the celebration of Hanukkah begins. This eight-day celebration is also known as the Festival of Lights and/or the Feast of Dedication. It is holiday that celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean...
 

 

Sexual assault everyone’s business

I walked in the bathroom and blood was everywhere. It looked like a murder scene. I looked up and there she was sitting on the toilet hunched over and crying. When I asked what happened she didn’t respond. She couldn’t talk. I was terrified and confused as to what happened. Why was she bleeding so...
 
 

To innovate, we can’t be afraid to fail

“Throughout history, people with new ideas – who think differently and try to change things – have always been called troublemakers.” – Richelle Mead, author. The Air Force is pushing hard for us to innovate. You hear it when our senior leaders give speeches or post articles imploring us to improve. Examples include the AFSO21...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Christians are currently in the season of Advent, a term that is not often used outside the church walls.  It is a term that means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.  When important events happen or important...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>