As part of an Air Force pilot program to centralize and simplify advocacy, response and support services, the Offutt Integrated Response Center officially opened its doors Aug. 15, 2022.
The pilot program will evaluate the effectiveness of a new, more holistic approach for responding to and assisting survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking and cyber harassment over the next six months.
“We are committed first and foremost to preventing sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of interpersonal violence, but also ensuring members of Team Offutt affected by these issues get the proper services they need in the easiest, most timely manner possible,” said Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander. “Whatever we can do to help victims more easily navigate the services they need is top priority.”
Seven installations across the Air Force were selected based on the population’s diversity, expressed interest by the major command, and ability to execute the co-location approach.
“We’re honored to be selected for this pilot program,” said Thompson. “We have an incredible group of response advocates who are totally committed to improving response and prevention efforts.”
The Offutt Integrated Response Center brings together the following services:
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocate
- Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate
- Victim’s Counsel
- Religious Support Team
“Co-locating these agencies just makes sense and simplifies things for the victims,” said Jennifer Roumph, Offutt SARC. “By having them all at one location we are really streamlining everything and ensuring they get the support they need.”
This program is the latest in a series of comprehensive reforms by the Department of the Air Force to change policies and practices to better identify sexual assault, harassment, stalking and domestic violence cases. The goal is to increase overall awareness, accessibility and support to survivors through healing-centric services to prevent revictimization.
“These changes are all designed to help the victim and that’s our main goal, too,” Roumph said.
The Offutt Integrated Response Center is located on the second floor of Building 323C.
The performance of the program will be measured and evaluated by comparing the seven pilot installations against seven “control bases,” which do not have the new approach. The other installations selected to participate in the pilot program include:
- Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
- Vandenberg Space Force Base, California
- Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
- Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- Misawa Air Base, Japan
- RAF Lakenheath, U.K.
Even with the standup of the Offutt Integrated Response Center, military members should continue to utilize existing sexual harassment complaint procedures with the Equal Opportunity office until policy is updated to authorize SAPR advocacy services and restricted and unrestricted reporting options for military members reporting sexual harassment. That change should take place near the end of September.