Airmen supporting Airmen through victim advocacy

Poster with information on how to contact the SAPR office regarding the volunteer victim advocacy program.

Volunteer victim advocates work through the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program to give non-clinical support as well as advising survivors in making informed decisions.

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Airmen who are survivors of sexual assault have a crucial resource at their disposal: volunteer victim advocates. They help victims get back on their feet through information, resources and emotional support.

The Airmen in this program are volunteers with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, which requires them to participate in a lengthy training, leading to a certification. The course helps fortify the VVA in areas such as non-clinical support, interpersonal communication skills, as well as advising survivors in making informed decisions.

First Lt. Madison Manu, 341st Comptroller Squadron financial operations flight commander and a newly-selected VVA, gave insight on how the 40-hour training prepared her for the role.

“I learned about the trauma that survivors experience, the history of sexual assault in the military and then applied that knowledge to better understand the dynamic between the advocate and the victim,” said Manu. “These are tough conversations to have, and the volunteer victim advocate training is key to getting the conversation started with the victim.”

These advocates are not simply volunteers, but first responders for many Airmen who need guidance on the path to healing.

VVAs have the responsibility of being on-call for when a sexual assault occurs, accompanying a victim during important interviews with medical personnel, law enforcement or other agencies and are trusted with client confidentiality as restricted reporters.

Last month, four new VVAs were trained and are awaiting their last application approval for certification to join the program. Continuing to increase the number of qualified and caring advocates is essential to the success of the program.

“It would be ideal to have a volunteer victim advocate in each unit to educate their peers on resources and to also be available for any questions or concerns,” said Tech. Sgt. Monique Hulse, 341st Missile Wing SAPR noncommissioned officer in charge. “Someone should consider volunteering as a victim advocate not only to help others by offering support and resources, but to receive education that no other Air Force training can provide.”

SAPR is always looking for new advocates looking to make a difference.

“This program allows us to empower and build trust with survivors of sexual assault and gives the advocate great tools and knowledge that can benefit anyone,” said Hulse.

The deadline for next quarter training is April 30, and for questions on the VVA program, call Malmstrom’s SAPR office at 406-731-4225, or stop by their office in building 770 for more information.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.