JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO–LACKLAND, Texas –
Programs and resource assistance offer members in the Joint Base San Antonio community with available help in dealing with harassment and assault.
Two years ago, the Green Dot program was rolled out at JBSA. It is the result of the Air Force listening to the community where such acts can occur.
“The Air Force, in response to listening to the people, surveys … looked for more user-friendly, effective ways to deliver the message that power-based personal violence is not tolerated,” said Dr. Michael W. Campbell, implementer of the Green Dot program.
The program’s focus is to look at ways of changing the conversation and is more reactive.
Campbell said people often aren’t willing to get involved when situations arise for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include people not having the temperament to step in, being afraid of jeopardizing someone’s career, or fearing retaliation for speaking up.
Previous training was focused on “if you see something, do something,” said Campbell. The Green Dot program now takes a different approach.
“We want you to do what you are comfortable with,” he added.
Such approaches include taking direct action if you feel comfortable confronting the situation, distracting the person in the throes of committing harassment or delegating to someone else such as a supervisor or friend. Because everyone’s personal barriers are different, it is often difficult to step in.
The available training, however, is helping.
“People have reacted positively to Green Dot training,” said Campbell.
Across JBSA, green dots located on outdoor building signs often greet visitors as a reminder that staffers have been trained with the mission of keeping things professional in and out of the workplace.
Green Dot is taught Air Force wide and is mandatory. Training begins as soon as new recruits join the military.
“This [training] happens in every gender, every race, every religion, every sexual preference,” said Campbell.
Training takes about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the group. Refresher courses are also taught every year.
Despite training aimed at preventing harassment and assault, there will be cases that do escalate. That is where Master Sgt. Victoria Miller steps in.
Miller is a victim advocate for JBSA, a community advocate for the JBSA Sexual Assault Response Team, and she volunteers her time.
“No matter what has been said or reported, we all have the responsibility to maintain respect and dignity,” said Miller.
Miller said there are two ways to report cases. They include non-restrictive reporting and restricted reporting. Once reported, an advocate is dispatched.
A restricted report allows a sexual assault victim to confidentially disclose the details of his or her assault and receive medical treatment and counseling. This does not include an investigation and the victim’s chain of command is not notified.
“For restricted reporting, eligible members are active duty, active duty dependents from 18 years plus,” said Miller. She added victims can always change their report to an unrestricted one.
An unrestricted report also allows the victim to disclose the details of his or her assault and receive medical treatment and counseling. However, law enforcement is notified in these cases, as well as someone in the victim’s chain of command.
Miller is not involved in either reporting process to ensure that any exchanges between herself and the victim remain between them.
“Once they tell a victim’s advocate something, it’s private and confidential. We’re here to help and support them,” said Miller, who sometimes accompanies a victim to an appointment during the investigation.
Victims at JBSA-Lackland can contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator located at 1880 Carswell Ave. Ste. 3, building 9020 for assistance.
If you need to report a sexual assault, Miller said the first thing to do is get to a safe location. Then, call 210-888-7272. Support is also available at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Randolph.