SAPR Office opening brings security, stability

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Col. James Price, 432nd Wing/432nd vice commander Air Expeditionary Wing, and SAPR personnel lead a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 30, 2019. All of the same services provided at Nellis — victim advocates, referrals to mental health, counseling, medical care, special victims counsel and more are now available at Creech. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Lauren Silverthorne)

Airmen celebrated the opening of a new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, or SAPR, Office at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 30, 2019.

During the grand opening, Creech personnel ate barbeque provided by the USO, learned about the resources offered by the SAPR Office and toured the new facility.

While SAPR representatives have been present at Creech since 2016, they haven’t had an office of their own. The office previously shared a space with the Judge Advocate, a facility staffed by mandated reporters, which can make reporting incidents of this nature uncomfortable to report.

Survivors of sexual assault can choose if their report will be restricted or unrestricted, so if reports are overheard by these mandated reporters, the case must be investigated.

“If the survivor does not feel comfortable talking about this absolutely horrific thing that has happened to them, they are not going to go to a place where they feel like they don’t have privacy.” said Mary, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Violence Prevention Program Director.

Col. James Price, 432nd Wing/432nd vice commander Air Expeditionary Wing, discussed the importance of taking care of our people at the new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office opening at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 30, 2019. During the grand opening, Creech personnel ate barbeque provided by the USO, learned about the resources offered by the SAPR Office and toured the new facility. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Lauren Silverthorne)

One of the many other benefits of Creech having its own SAPR Office is that Airmen, contractors, and adult dependents won’t have to drive the hour-long commute to the Nellis AFB location.

Mary went on to say when a victim has experienced this kind of trauma, people may not know what is going to trigger it or when, and it’s important for Airmen to have a place at Creech to get help.

All SAPR services provided at Nellis – victim advocates, referrals to mental health, counseling, medical care, special victims counsel, and more, are now available at Creech.

“Creech is hiring a full-time staff in the very near future that will be in the office during the week,” said Capt. Nicole Perhala, Nellis AFB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “However, until then, the office is staffed by Nellis personnel on Tuesday and Wednesdays. Should someone need to seek assistance during the rest of the week, they can call the 24/7 hotline, and someone will be happy to meet them at Creech. We have six incredible and certified victim advocates who help in our office as well.”

Personnel share lunch at the new Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office opening at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 30, 2019. All of the same services provided at Nellis — victim advocates, referrals to mental health, counseling, medical care, special victims counsel and more are now available at Creech. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Lauren Silverthorne)

Capt. Perhala explained the new SAPR program’s new reporting option, called the Catch a Serial Offender Program, available for those making a Restricted Report.

Reporters may now choose to anonymously disclose suspect information to help the Department of Defense identify serial offenders. More information about this program can be found at: https://www.sapr.mil/CATCH.

The 24/7 hotline mentioned above can be reached at 877-995-5247. Resources for survivors of sexual assault can also be found at safehelpline.org.