ART - The Academy Response Team
SA - Sexual Assault
VA - VICTIM ADVOCATE
The Academy Response Team (ART) was developed to provide multi-disciplinary support to all USAFA personnel (cadets, permanent party, civilians, contractors, family members) involved in sexual assault allegations. The ART’s support ranges from immediate victim care to extended survivor support throughout the investigative and legal processes. We assist with medical care issues spiritual needs, and command interests. The SARC/ART advocates for instructional change through educational outreach to the USAFA military and the local community on prevention and response to these crimes. The SARC/ART endeavors to build communication and collaboration between local helping agencies serving crime victims to ensure positive transitions to healthy outcomes.
The term sexual assault is used as a catch–all term which may have a variety of meanings. Usually, sexual assault refers to a specific act of sexual violence. There are two categories of sexual assault that are generally recognized by survivors and advocates: Acquaintance assault and stranger assault. Although it is important for you to understand that sexual assault can take many forms, it is also important to remember that the loss of power and control is a common thread.
In many sexual assault cases, the victim and perpetrator know each other. This can include friends, acquaintances or family members. A close personal relationship, however, is not necessary for an attack to be considered acquaintance sexual assault. In approximately 80% of all sexual assault cases, the victim and perpetrator have some type of relationship.
Date rape is one type of sexual assault that occurs within the context of a date. The term “date” is used very generally to describe many different kinds of social situations. Additionally, although there has been a lot of attention recently on date rape drugs such as Rohypnol and gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHB, most or many date rapes involve predominantly alcohol or other “recreational” drugs.
The ART consists of two tiers. The first tier includes the SARC, Victim Advocates, a Judge Advocate (JA) Liaison and an Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Liaison. The second tier consists of chaplains, medical personnel and counselors. Tier one members are the “first responders” when a sexual assault allegation is reported. Tier one works in conjunction with AFOSI, answering victim’s questions while agents gather important details of the alleged incident. After the initial response, the ART does long term case management where they “flight follow” all members involved in ART cases. The ART realizes being involved in an investigation of this type can be very stressful on both parties. Therefore services in the counseling center and the chaplains office are provided for each member, if they so desire to take advantage of the help. Squadron leadership is also involved in the process to ensure the members have support in all areas.
The Victim Advocates provides support, liaison services and care to the victim. However, VA’s are not counselors. VA responsibilities include providing crisis intervention, referral and ongoing non-clinical support, including information and available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions about the case. VA services will continue until the victim states that support is no longer needed. USAFA Victim Advocates are available 24/7/365.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, immediately call the SARC:
(available 24/7/365) and follow the below guidelines for preserving evidence.
- Do not bathe, shower or douche.
- Do not change your clothes.
- Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
- Do not use the bathroom, but if you must, save your voided urine for testing at the hospital.
- Do not eat, drink or apply/take any type of medication.
- Do not disturb or clean up the crime scene.