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NEWS | Jan. 29, 2018

Building community partnerships for military sexaul assualt victims

By Maj. Satomi Mack-Martin 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support)

"People can improve their responses and how they live their lives after horrible trauma," stated the Executive Director for the Day League Sexual Assault Care and Prevention Center.

Phyllis Miller, a 30-year experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the center, formerly known as the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, and Kyana Nesbitt, the Lead Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for the 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support), met to discuss community resources available to military personnel.

"I'm helping our footprint," said Nesbitt who has led the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) program as a full-time employee since August 2017 and served as a victim advocate for the past three years.

Nesbitt, who manages five collateral duty SARCs and several victim advocates within the command, goal is to build rapport with community counselors as additional go-to support for military victims.

The Day League Sexual Assault Care and Prevention Center reports that every two minutes, an American is a victim of sexual assault. All ages, races and economic groups are at risk.

 Fifty-five percent of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim's home, and two out of every three sexual assaults go unreported to police.

The Day League Center suggests if anyone becomes a victim of sexual assault, to get to a safe place, call 911 and the Day League's hotline, do not shower or change clothes nor disturb anything at the crime scene.

Other tips and advice for potential victims is to try to remember everything you can about the attacker, seek medical attention, get counseling, take time to heal.

The Day League's last and most important tip for victims is to remember that the assault is not their fault. Support is available regardless of when the sexual assault occurred.

"In order for me to be the best Lead SARC in providing 100 percent quality services for soldiers, I have to ensure we have resources available and training outside of the 80-hour course for victim advocates and SHARP professionals," added Nesbitt.

The military has taken a strong stance with providing training on eliminating and preventing sexual assault, which is known to impact unit cohesion.

The Army's I. A.M. Strong campaign teaches soldiers and DoD civilians to intervene, act, and motivate others to stop sexual harassment, assaults and prevent sexually offensive language.

"Victims need to be comfortable," Nesbitt said, "with knowing that their leadership will protect them, keep things confidential, and whom they report to is a professional and subject matter expert and know they'll receive the care that they require and deserve."

Nesbitt hopes to build enough community partnerships that will give soldiers and civilians within the 3d MCDS the opportunity to report to facilities closest to their home of record.

To learn more about the Army's prevention program, visit:, or call the 24-hour Military One Source hotline at: 1-800-342-9647.

To learn more about Georgia DeKalb County Day League's resources and 24-hour crisis line, call: (404) 377-1428.

The Day League provides victims of sexual violence and their families with services such as a 24-hour rape crisis line, counseling, therapy groups, courtroom, medical, and police accompaniment, and legal advocacy.

3rd Medical Command Deployment Support located in Forest Park, Georgia, is a senior deployable medical command and control headquarters, providing support to U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Army Central areas of operation. The division provides support and technical supervision for more than 7,500 soldiers and civilians located in 21 states and Puerto Rico to prepare and provide trained soldiers and units to conduct missions in the most capable, combat ready and lethal U.S. Army Reserve force in American history. Capabilities include health care specialists, X-ray technicians, ophthalmology, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, dentists, surgeons, veterinarians, and biomedical equipment specialists.