Sexual Assault Response Coordinators now on duty

  • Published
  • By 934 AW Public Affairs
  • 934 AW Public Affairs
Military members assigned to or visiting the 934th Airlift Wing who are the victims of sexual assault on base or while on duty now have the option of making a confidential report and receiving medical assistance without initiating a military investigation.
A new Department of Defense policy allows the establishment of sexual assault response coordinators at all military installations, including Air Force Reserve Command bases like the 934 AW. 

“SARC is a brand new position in the Air Force Reserve and provides a new alternative means for victims and their advocates to report and deal with sexual assaults and rapes that occur on base or while the military member is on duty in a confidential manner,” said Eli Pollinger, the newly hired 934 AW SARC representative.
The Air Force reported 456 sexual assaults in 2004 either committed by or against its members. Officials estimate more than 80 percent of the sexual assaults go unreported and that one in three women and one in six men will be sexually victimized during their lifetime. 

“This new system will provide the victims services, confidentiality and empowerment to make their own decisions about what they want to do,” said Mr. Pollinger.
Either the victims themselves or their advocates can contact the SARC. A process is then set in motion to gather information and contact medical and counseling services to support the victims while they decide whether they want to pursue legal options,” he explained. 

Mr. Pollinger emphasized that sexual assault and rape reports received by him and other SARCs do not prompt military investigations or notifications to commanders.
Here at the 934th, committees and a panel including wing and unit leaders, a psychologist and medical professionals were assembled to study and establish policies regarding sexual assault and rape issues on base, he added. 

“We used a multi-disciplinary team approach and tapped numerous resources to establish the SARC position on base,” said Mr. Pollinger. “We are going to have a voluntary staff of advocates who can help victims through this process by standing with them and/or referring them to hospital personnel, counselors and other caregivers.”
Mr. Pollinger, who has extensive experience working at Veterans Administration hospitals and in the private sector, said people should be concerned about sexual assaults and rapes at the 934tAW because they undermine the mission of the Air Force.
“It’s a criminal offense that can have tragic results for the victim and the perpetrator. We want to make it very easy for the victim and very tough for the perpetrator. There is zero tolerance against sexual assault and rape in the Air Force Reserve.”
All wing military members are strongly encouraged to report rapes and sexual assaults to Mr. Pollinger at the Chapel, Ext. 1220. Mr. Pollinger can also be contacted via his e-mail address at: