Sexual Assault Awareness Month kickoff, Victim Advocate profile

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shawn Nickel
  • 9th RW Public Affairs
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and to help bring more attention to the subject, several activities have been planned for Team Beale.

Dr. Michael Stacy, Beale's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, said education and awareness are the only tools the Air Force has to reach out to Airmen.

Those traveling around base will see the SARC blimp throughout the month of April. The 15-foot, red and white balloon will fly in different locations and feature a simple message: 634-4000, the SARC phone number.

Stacy and his team are hosting an open house at their office in bldg. 2170 April 6 which will include food, information and door prizes from 10 a.m. to noon.

For the fourth year, the main event to raise awareness for the month will be "Jump into Prevention" April 27, where Beale members will get a chance to skydive with the SARC.
Stacy said high risk waivers and sign-up paperwork needs to be filled out and returned to the SARC office by April 20.

The jump will be held at Lincoln Regional Airport. Skydivers will perform a tandem jump from approximately 14,000 feet, reaching speeds in excess of 110 miles per hour; all while having a day off of work.

In addition to skydiving, Dr. Stacy and Jennifer Lucero, SARC assistant, will continue to give bystander intervention training, commander's briefings and will conduct a clothing and supply drive in conjunction with Casa de Esperanza, a Yuba County women and children's shelter.

The donation drive, April 16-30, will have collection points at many units on base. Items such as women's pajamas, slippers, socks, pillows, twin size mattress covers and food items such as sugar, spices, and cooking oil are needed to donate to women and children who have been victims of sexual assault.

"There are a surprising number of people this organization supports, including members of this base," said Stacy. "We are a part of the community and need to support it."

The SARC office is also offering a Rape Aggression Defense class for all Beale women. The popular class teaches self-defense techniques and provides hands-on training by certified instructors.

For more information about SARC programs call Ms. Lucero at 634-4000, option two.

Victim Advocate Profile:

Name: Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Aruja

Unit: 9th Physiological Support Squadron

Hometown: Williams, Calif.

Aruja completed Victim Advocate training at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., in 2006 and continued volunteering as a VA when after arriving at Beale in 2008. She is the on-call VA for a week two times per month, attends court cases with victims, gives sexual assault briefings, and teaches Rape Aggression Defense training. Aruja became a VA because she wanted to ensure each Airman receives the services, support, and information they need in a respectful and safe atmosphere.