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Arizona Air National Guard hosts Victim Advocate refresher training

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Van C. Whatcott
  • 162nd Wing

The Arizona Air National Guard hosted a 2-Day Victim Advocate (VA) refresher training at Morris Air National Guard Base here 19 and 20 September. The 162nd Wing, in collaboration with the 161st Air Refueling Wing, brought the training this year to Pima County.

“This is a good opportunity to promote the 162nd Wing and highlight our Wing SAPR [Sexual Assault Prevention and Response] program,” said Florina Flores, 162nd Wing SAPR Program Manager and one of the event coordinators.  

“VAs participating in the event represent Air and Army National Guard installations from across the State. They are certified through the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program [D-SAACP] to provide sexual assault victim advocacy services,” Flores said.

Victim Advocates are required to complete 32 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every two years for recertification. The CEU opportunities ensure that the military's SAPR professionals are receiving the tools they need to raise awareness, promote prevention efforts, and respond to incidents of sexual assault.

The event brought together the military community with civilian sector community partners to prepare VAs to respond quickly, compassionately, and appropriately to victims of sexual assault. The community partners who presented at the event included the Pima County Attorney’s Office, Tucson Police Department, Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA), and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

All military installations, including deployed locations, have SARCs or VAs available 24/7. The 162nd Wing has 5 Victim Advocates available to provide resources and assist Airmen and their families.