In an effort to adjust to an ever-changing Air force, the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., is constantly finding ways to tailor to the Airmen’s needs.
The 355th Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office recently added new furniture, plants, paintings and other decorations to their office and the Office of Special Investigation’s victim interview room to relax victims while being interviewed.
Per Air Force regulation, it is required to have a comfort room for victims, so the SAPR office took it a step further by taking their most open area of the office and turning it into a comfort room so the entire office feels inviting.
“Every single person that comes into our office makes a comment about how inviting it feels,” said Teresa Perrin, 355th Wing SAPR victim advocate. “We want to make it as comfortable as possible for people who come in for our services.”
Before the SAPR team changed the OSI victim interview room, it was simple with only four white walls, a blue carpet and old furniture. After the recent upgrades, it was made to feel as welcoming as the SAPR office.
“We want to make sure when victims go from our office to OSI for an interview they aren’t going to a negative environment,” Perrin said. “Our belief is anything we can do to help bring the anxiety levels down in the victim is a win.”
The purpose of the recent furnishing was to not only give victims an inviting place to discuss any issues. This would also make it welcoming for anyone on base to meet the staff, and if the need arises they will already be acquainted.
“Due to the amount of individuals that come in here not needing support, we thought it was appropriate to make the changes for everyone,” said Mike Starkey, 355th Wing SAPR coordinator. “We want people to be more comfortable with coming to us so that if something does happen to them, or their wingmen, they can be referred to someone that they are comfortable with.”
Another way the team is getting to know incoming Airmen, is by introducing themselves during the First Term Airman Course. There, they brief their services to ensure the Airmen are familiar with their resources.
The SAPR office is one of the many helping agencies on base that promote resiliency for Airmen of the 355th Wing and are the premiere source of information about sexual assault prevention in the Air Force.