Health & Safety

January 25, 2013

Victims’ counsel program now includes ‘unprofessional’ relationships

by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command public affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, Texas — The new Special Victims’ Counsel Program starting Air Force-wide on Jan. 28, will be expanded to Basic Military trainees and technical training students who have been involved in unprofessional relationships of a physical and sexual nature.
The SVC pilot program is designed to provide victims of sexual assault, support throughout the military justice process, by providing independent legal representation designed for victims’ distinctive needs.

“The Special Victim’s Counsel is a very important addition to the system of support we already have in place to help victims of sexual assault,” said Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command. “It is an indication of how seriously we take the crime of sexual assault and how committed we are to addressing the needs of our Airmen who are victims of this offense.”

The Special Victims’ Counsel program entitles Air Force victims of sexual assault to legal counsel. It also entitles some categories of dependents as well as sister service members who report being sexually assaulted by an Airman.

“In addition to the covered sexual assault offenses, entry-level Airmen who have been involved in an unprofessional relationship of a physical and sexual nature with instructors or staff from Basic Military Training or Technical School will also be entitled to SVC services,” said Lt. Col. Andrea R-Ferrulli, Air Education and Training Command Judge Advocate office.

Entry-level Airmen are generally those who have been in continuous active service for 180 days or less, according to Air Force Instruction.

“Sexual assault victims will now have a lawyer to provide advocacy and advice throughout the investigatory and trial procedures, a process which can be difficult and intimidating at times,” R-Ferrulli continued.

Last year, available sexual assault statistics showed 29 percent of victims who filed a report to have a sexual assault investigated, changed their minds before the trial convened and instead indicated they were no longer interested in cooperating with the prosecution. According to officials, this may indicate the Airmen had grown fatigued at the lengthy, sometimes confusing, process involved in prosecuting a sexual assault.

“By building and sustaining resiliency among sexual assault victims and empowering them to fully participate in the justice process, the program will strengthen the military justice system,” R-Ferrulli said.

Any eligible victim, whether making a restricted or un-restricted report of sexual assault, may obtain an SVC through the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, who starts the referral process. The SVC program office will assign an SVC.

There are currently 60 military attorneys trained on how to effectively represent victims of sexual assault. Each Special Victims’ Counsel is an experienced litigator with courts-martial experience who was hand-selected by The Judge Advocate General of the Air Force. They represent only the victim of sexual assault with complete attorney-client confidentiality.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

Airman retires after 37 years of service

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang Chief Master Sgt. Karen L. Krause, 452nd Maintenance Operations Squadrons superintendent, receives a flag from a Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard member during her retireme...
 
 

Look past 1947 for Air Force roots

The Air Force officially turns 67 this month, but my Uncle Gino thinks it’s older. He’s 90 and the lone surviving brother of my father. Both of them served in World War II, as did two of their siblings. My father was in the Navy, as was his eldest brother, Europeo (his real name, I...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Pilots earned top honor for WW II actions

Courtesy Photo First Lt. Donald J. Gott and 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger Jr. of the 452nd Bombardment Group, were killed when their heavily damaged B-17 Flying Fortress exploded Nov. 9, 1944, as they raced to friendly territory i...
 

 

A reminder of our 24/7/365 responsibility to ourselves and each other

All Airmen have a responsibility that last much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone’s 24/7, 365-day responsibility to...
 
 
HBI-Web-Graphic

Online risk assessment offers ways to evaluate, improve health

How well do you know yourself? Poor health is not always obvious. Even people who appear healthy can be at risk for medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Health Risk ...
 
 

Life is all about choices

Back when I lived in the rural Midwest, late September and October was harvest time for the farming communities. For many frantic weeks, farmers would be out in the fields from morning to night, trying to beat the first snowfall, gathering in the crops they had planted earlier that spring. In southwest Minnesota the harvest...
 




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>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin