OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Providing Appropriate Support for Military Victims of Sexual Assault
Ann McCarty, Leah Holland  -  2015/4/8
We have had a question come up in VA (and this is a little outside as it deals with a civilian sexually assaulted on a military post), but the law seems to state that the government investigative agency pays for the Forensic Sexual Assault Exam. The military base says they don't have the money to pay it. They want Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund to pay it. Some other military installations also submit their Forensic Sexual Assault Exam claims to CICF, however, this seems to be contrary to the Federal Code. What is your take on this?
1.  Ann McCarty
 Continued: Locally, it does not matter if a civilian is assaulted on the installation, SAPR pays when the case involves an active duty member; either victim OR perpetrator. While you are correct that the law states that the investigative agency pays for the exam (that holds true in California as well as they are the authorizing agency), military installations that rely on local support in the communities in which they are located need to find a work around to the money issue….and this is how we have handled the issue. If your installation is not a member of your local SART Coalition or attending your case review meetings…get them there.
2.  Ann McCarty
 I can speak to how it works in our county with our local installation, Vandenberg AFB, and why it's so important to establish a strong relationship with the SARC on the installation as well as any others that provide services to survivors. Our installation SAPR is a member of our countywide SART Coalition. In our county we operate under the per capita funding model for forensic medical exams which means that each law enforcement entity in our county pays into a fund for the SART exams. VAFB is no different and pays an annual amount to the pot of money that goes to pay for the FME’s.
3.  Leah Holland
 It's common in other states for the state's Crime Victim Compensation funds to cover forensic exams. Each state determines how they pay for the exams. If it has been worked out between the installations in VA and CICF to pay for exams on an installation, it seems fine.
do you have any info on how to better serve male victims?
1.  Claire
 also 1in6.org They have 24/7 online support, free lending library and terrific resources for survivors, family, and professionals
2.  Ann McCarty
 I agree with Leah and have used this site as well. Another good short article is Creating a Space for Male Survivors By Eric Stiles, Rural Resource Specialist, National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Connect with your state coaltion. They have a lot of information as well.
3.  Leah Holland
 I used malesurvivor.org a lot. It's for professionals and survivors. There's also a male survivor forum available for online support if you're in an area that doesn't have a lot of face-to-face support groups for men.
Are there prevention trainings which have been proven to reduce SA?
1.  Natalie Fletche
 There are many programs that successfully increasing knowledge about SA. However when polled after the participants had no increase in empathy. They know what SA is they know how to prevent it even they just don't seem to care. The name of the meta data analysis is "SEXUAL ASSAULT EDUCATION PROGRAMS: A META-ANALYTIC EXAMINATION OF THEIR EFFECTIVENESS" Linda A. Anderson Oregon State University Susan C. Whiston Indiana University
2.  Ann McCarty
 I agree that there isn't one specific program out there that's the be all end all to sexual assault. I'd look into Green Dot Bystander Intervention Training as well as the organization We End Violence. We End Violence has done a lot of training on military installations regarding violence prevention.
3.  Leah Holland
 There isn't one specific program that will prevent SA. It takes a lot of time and community resources/buy-in at every level to prevent SA. For prevention related material, I'd reach out to the prevention specialist at your state's SA Coalition or contact Kat Monusky at the Washington Coalition of SA Programs (360-754-7583 or Kat@wcsap.org). She's a prevention super star and can point you in the right direction.
Who do I need to contact from the Military either the Special Victims Counsel, or SHARP in Hawaii to discuss our services as well?
1.  Ann McCarty
 I just did a training in Hawaii at the end of September...on Oahu. Did you by chance come? The SHARP at Schofield Barracks is (or was in October) Regina Moore. Very knowledgeable. Very helpful. Her email is regina.v.moore2.civ@mail.mil Let me know if you want her phone number
2.  Leah Holland
 https://www.safehelpline.org/search.cfm?query=hawaii This will give you the points of contact for Hawaii installations.
3.  Jennifer
 Do you have any direct phone numbers, I have searched the Big Island, Hawaii and I just find a recruiting office. Should I start there?
4.  Leah Holland
 I'd start with SHARP, but it'd be a good idea to get to know the folks at the Special Victims Counsel too. SHARP should be working with you to establish a strong working relationship.
What has helped in developing a relationship with the military in order to collaborate and best serve military victims/survivors? What has been most challenging?
1.  Ann McCarty
 One thing that has helped us has been consistency, but I know that is not always possible due to PCS, turnover, retirements, etc. While our SARC has been the SARC since the SAPR program was stood up in 2006, we've still had installation turnover. One thing that has greatly ensured continuity of services even when new Installation Commanders aren't as eager, is belonging to the countywide SART Coalition. This connection to our local authorities has been so instrumental in continuity of services. It’s also important for civilian advocates to understand the military culture, the language, the hierarchy, and the resources available to active duty and spouses on the installation.
2.  Kristy Curtis
 For my experiences, the most helpful is that our Victim/Witness Advocated is a former SARC. She is familiar with all of the lingo and has contacts within the military to assist with cases. My department also has an NCIS Liaison who constantly comes by and has a department e-mail address. The most challenging for me has been explaining to military victims the difference between civillian procedures/laws/etc and military. Some examples include the victim not having to report to local LEOs, threshold of evidence needed for prosecution, etc.
In discussing the SHARP program, I read that the offender can not be an intimate partner or family member, How can I offer YWCA's services in this gap to victims?
1.  Leah Holland
 The Family Advocacy Program provides services to SA survivors when the offender is an intimate partner or family member. Having a relationship with both offices (FAP and SHARP) will help your work with survivors.
What are the most appropriate resources for survivors of sexual assault that may not be in the military themselves but their spouse are? What can we tell them are their options in this situation?
1.  Ann McCarty
 Thank you for your work on the hotline. I know how difficult that can be some days. Good luck!
2.  Jenn
 Thank you very much. I work on a hotline so always connect SA survivors with local RCC centers but I also like to know other options for people as well. I'll also be sure to ask local RCC programs about their collaborations with Military folks as well. Thanks again!
3.  Leah Holland
 They'll know if they're authorized. They should be covered by insurance. Some installations provide forensic exams at their on-post hospitals/clinics. It depends on what's happening locally, where the installation is located, and the relationship with their civilian counterparts.
4.  Ann McCarty
 While each installation has some form of Family Advocacy center, it's also a good idea to be linked up with the local community for support for survivors. Local rape crisis centers are an invaluable resource to local installations since they do this work daily and (should be) in tune with the needs of our military personnel and their significant others. I can't emphasize enough the importance of collaboration and clearly understanding the unique needs of military survivors as well as significant others of our active duty personnel. Depending on where the crime occurred will also dictate the civilian resources that most appropriately might work for that spouse. Link up with the local RCC. If none are close email me!
5.  Jenn
 Thank you!! How are they authorized? Is it like being on insurance? Bases have abilities to get sexual assault forensic exams?
6.  Leah Holland
 If the civilian spouse is authorized to receive treatment at a military healthcare facility, they can seek services on the installation. They can also work with civilian programs. They may choose one option over the other depending on who the offender is (spouse or not, military or not) and if CID/NCIS/OSI will be investigating.
Is there a repository of best practices when handling military victims publicy available, particularly for newer Victim Advocates?
1.  Charles Lay
 If you have an Active Duty installation, reach out to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for that post. However, not all states have an Active Duty installation, but every state and territory has a National Guard, and they have a SARC that you could reach out to for information and assistance. All SARCs in the Department of Defense provide services to any victim of sexual assault from any branch of the service (or their dependents 18 years old or older) that contact them. For veterans that are out of the military already, the VA Hospitals and VET Centers have resources available to provide services. Contact them and speak with them about their Military Sexual Trauma (MST) services. They even are improving their services offered specifically for women veterans.
2.  Charles Lay
 I know this is an old thread, but there are a couple of other resources as well. The DoD Safe Helpline at safehelpline.org is a good resource for military first responder contacts, and they have free materials that they will ship to you to advertise their program. They also have an app that can be downloaded for free from your phone's app store. The app has a lot of information and will allow a person to set up different exercise plans as a means of coping.
3.  Chris
 Thank you so much, having a set of go to repositories is helpful.
4.  Leah Holland
 OVC TTAC's Strengthening Military-Civilian Community Partnerships is a great curriculum (https://www.ovcttac.gov/views/TrainingMaterials/dspMilCivPartner.cfm). If your program hasn't sent anyone to the training held in your state, you can request they come to you. If that's not an option, I'd start with the sapr.mil website, then open up communication with your local installation. The folks on the installation will be incredibly helpful.
5.  Ann McCarty
 There are a lot of great resources out there. In California I rely heavily on CALCASA or the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, but there is also the National Sexual Violence Resource Center which led the way in developing the curriculum that OVC TTAC uses today for assisting the military and non-profits to collaborate. I'd give the NSVRC at http://www.nsvrc.org/search/node/military sexual assault a whirl as well as CALCASA at http://www.calcasa.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Survivors-in-the-Military-System.pdf for more information. I'd also connect with my local rape crisis center and ask to attend their advocate training. I recognize that you've had extensive training to become an installation VA but going through the local training would be a good idea too.
Just throwing this out here. April is the month for awareness of sexual assault. I believe it is called TAKE A STANDer. There are activities daily for awareness.
1.  Ann McCarty
 Thank you for your post. Yes, agencies across the country are busy with SAAM activities to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault. I'm unfamiliar with TAKE A STANDer...but will look it up. Thank you for sharing that info.
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