[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                    November 27, 2009 

Sexual assault reporting: Installation implements new, local hotline

Fort McCoy has a new, on post 24/7 hotline servicemembers can call if they have been sexually assaulted.

The new number is 608-388-5000. The number can be dialed from any phone on post, including those in the barracks.

People who have been sexually assaulted also can get assistance by calling the existing 24/7 sexual assault hotline at 608-487-0701, which will remain in service. This number must be dialed from phones that have a long-distance capability.

Becky Wapp Sawyer, Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) director, said sexual assault is a crime.

According to the Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by the use of force, physical threat, abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault has no place in the Army, according to Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program officials. It degrades mission readiness by affecting the ability to work as a team. Sexual assault is incompatible with Army values.

The Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program reinforces the Army’s commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through a comprehensive policy that focuses on education, prevention, integrated victim support, rapid reporting, investigation, appropriate action, and follow up.

The Department of Defense Joint Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response has made a number of policy changes over the past year in efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assaults.

One of the key policy changes has been the creation of a Victim Advocate Coordinator (VAC) positions within ACS to manage sexual assault victim care, unit victim advocate training, and sexual assault prevention training.

The Fort McCoy VAC will serve as the point of contact for sexual assault reports, will coordinate training and serve as a victim advocate.

The VAC also will work closely with the ACS Family Advocacy Program (FAP). The FAP staff and the VAC are committed to supporting and caring for victims of sexual assault and to ensuring that victims and offenders are treated according to Army policy.

For more information about the Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program at Fort McCoy, call the Fort McCoy VAC at 608-388-8951 or the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program Manager at 608-388-2412.

More information also is available at the ACS Academy at http://www.mccoymwr.com.

(Information in this story is from the Fort McCoy Army Community Service.)


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