JOE FOSS FIELD, SD --
Members of several DoD organizations, including members of the 114th Fighter Wing, joined together at Joe Foss Field, S.D. July 13. In their role as Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocates to receive training presented by Mr. Rick Goodwin, Training Consultant, 1in6 Training Initiatives. Mr. Goodwin’s area of expertise is with men’s mental health, more specifically, male sexual trauma.
Victim advocates must have reoccurring training on advocacy prevention and ethics every two years that they serve as volunteer victim advocate. This training was used to meet that requirement and focused specifically on issues experienced by men.
“What we know statistically is that 1 in 6 child age males will experience sexual trauma,” stated Goodwin. “We also know that 1 in 8 men will experience a sexual assault.”
Goodwin went on to say that there is also research that suggests that the male military population has about twice the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among its male members. This would make the 1 in 6 figure now 1 in 3 for military males.
Goodwin’s one day training focuses on the differences between male and female victims and offenders which in turn helps victim advocates to identify the best way to help their victims.
“Victim advocates play a critical role in our SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention Response) program,” said 2d Lt Emily Rollason, 114th Fighter Wing SAPR Coordinator. “Our hope is that by having as many victim advocates, trained and ready, we can make it easier for members to come forward.”
“One thing I would like our members to know is that you don’t have to file a report to receive assistance. Victim advocates are available just to talk and a report can be filed even if the incident happened prior to a member’s military service.” continued Rollason.
Present for the training were members of the South Dakota Air National, SD Army National Guard, and active duty personnel and civilians from Ellsworth AFB.
One of the four members who traveled to Sioux Falls from Ellsworth to attend the training was Mrs. Bernie McFarling, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. sexual assault response coordinator.
“Lt Rollason has been on our distro list for about a year and a half so she has been invited to attend whatever training we have available,” said McFarling. “In turn, she let us know about this opportunity for this unique training. We do have male members report, but it’s not nearly as many as are actually being assaulted and we’d like to learn what maybe we can do to get the message out there to men that we are available to them as well.”
1in6 Training Initiatives is a non-profit organization with a mission to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Their mission also includes serving family members, friends, partners, and service providers with the information and support resources they need to assist these victims. This is where unit victim advocates come in.