Hill AFB testing change to centralize violence, abuse services
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Forty thousand instances of domestic abuse occurred across all branches of military service between 2015 and 2019, according to a Government Accountability Office study drawing the attention of members of Congress last year.
In an attempt to combat domestic abuse and similar forms of interpersonal violence, the Air Force has established a pilot program to measure effectiveness of five support systems already in place.
The six-month Integrated Response Co-Location Pilot will provide a centralized location for existing support systems to simplify access and advocacy processes for airmen and guardians who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, cyber harassment and stalking.
Hill Air Force Base is one of seven Air Force and Space Force bases worldwide to participate in the pilot program, which reportedly comes after years of gaps in domestic violence and sexual assault reporting.
“This is about supporting victims, plain and simple,” Air Force Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones, who directed the establishment of the pilot program, said in a press release.
According to Janet Dillingham, sexual assault response coordinator at Hill, test bases were selected based on population diversity, expressed interest from the major command and the ability to offer centralized services.
The Support, Advocacy & Resource Center, or SARC, along with Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate and Victim’s Counsel services are now located in one place — Building 460, located at 5713 E Ave. — to boost accessibility and support to survivors and prevent revictimization.
Dillingham said there was no need to relocate the Religious Support Team as it is in the adjacent Building 445, at 5711 E Ave..
Prior to relocating services as part of the program, Dillingham said those looking for assault services would have to visit three different buildings around base.
Effectiveness of the centralized approach is being measured and compared to the same services at seven control bases not participating in the experiment. At the end of the six-month pilot program, data will be collected by the control bases to determine if having centralized assault services are of any benefit.
According to an Air Force study released in November 2021, about 10% of the department’s workforce said they had been impacted by workplace assault, harassment, domestic violence, bullying or hazing.
“We don’t see as much sexual assault in the military as you do in the civilian world, but we’re under the spotlight right now,” Dillingham said, recalling Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s murder at Fort Hood in 2020.
IF YOU NEED HELP
- DAVA (Domestic Violence Victim Advocate) 24/7 Crisis Hotline — 385-209-1811
- VC (Victims’ Counsel) — 801-586-9384
- SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response) 24/7 Hotline — 801-777-1985
- RST (Religious Support Team) — 801-777- 2106