BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, PA -- April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Kicking it off, the 111th Attack Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program hosted a community awareness presentation and 5K Run/Walk on April 2, 2022 here.
Vivian Claud, the 111th ATKW sexual assault response coordinator, hosted the awareness presentation and was joined by Wing members Capt. Tabia Cole, the 111th ATKW Judge Advocate General deputy staff judge advocate, Master Sgt. Derrick Smith, the 111th Attack Wing Security Forces operations superintendent and two members of the local community, Jalla Atkins, a forensic nurse coordinator at Jefferson Abington Hospital and Erin Milbourne, a direct services supervisor with the Victim Services Center of Montgomery County.
“I wanted to bring awareness to the resources that are available for sexual assault victims,” said Claud. “You always hear about the resources available, this event gives you the opportunity to meet the people providing those services.”
Each presenter spoke about their role in the process when a report of sexual assault is made.
“For a guard member, there are a series of overlapping jurisdictions and authorities involved in the investigation of sexual assault,” said Cole. “It is an analysis of who, what, when and the status of the individual.”
A member’s duty status - title 10 or title 32 - is one of the primary factors in determining the level of involvement from the local law enforcement and Air Force entities. JAG helps victims by facilitating and coordinating the proper processes based on individual circumstances.
“When you’re dealing with national guard members, most of their life is in the civilian world,” said Cole. “So it’s important to have members of the community speak because they will have more authority and jurisdiction on the matters that may concern our members.”
Navigating all the complexities does not fall on the victim. The SARC should be the first point of contact if a guardsman has been a victim of sexual assault. Based on whether a guardsman would like to make a restricted or unrestricted report, the SARC will point them in the right direction.
The day culminated with members of the wing joining the whole sexual assault prevention and response team on the flightline for a 5K Run/Walk supporting sexual assault awareness and prevention month.