By Naval Support Facility Public Affairs
NAVAL SUPPORT FACILITY DEVESELU, Romania (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to
both Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu, Romania and Redzikowo,
Poland completed Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim
Advocate (VA) training, Jan. 11.
Nine Sailors from the two European based commands completed the week-long training together with instructors visiting from Navy Region Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA).
"It's very important for students to see and connect with a person versus looking at a screen or listening to some type of lecture," said Jane Clarke, a clinical advisor for EURAFSWA who co-facilitated the training. "To actually come out here [and] see and interact with someone really adds to the course and their overall learning experience."
Completion of the SAPR VA course allows the Sailors to assist victims of sexual assault through, according to Clarke, what can be one of the most challenging times they have faced on both personal and professional levels.
"It's extremely important for us to hold this training because there is a requirement that each command, or installation, has a minimum of two unit victim advocates," said Charles Lopresto Jr., who serves as a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) for EURAFSWA. "The challenge that you have with places such as Deveselu and Redzikowo is that Sailors are only on one year tour rotations. By the time we get Sailors trained and certified it is almost time for them to leave. It is really incumbent to us to have this type of training on a regular basis in light of that turnover and to ensure that the installations have the appropriate number of unit victim advocates to respond to a sexual assault."
The certification, which consists of 40 classroom-based hours followed by a credentialing process, allows Sailors to support their commands as SAPR VA's for two years before recertification is required. According to Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Anthony Frometa, having quality face-to-face training can help make all the difference in ensuring a sexual assault survivor has a smooth transition through the reporting process.
"The victim advocacy program is a vital component in the Navy's SAPR program," said Frometa, who is assigned to NSF Redzikowo. "Due to the distance from our family and friends back in the U.S., the VA is sometimes the only resource the survivor has access to."
After a week of training, the Sailors were presented with certificates for completing the training and posed for photos while "Pomp and Circumstance" played in the background.
According to Clarke and Lopresto, the most rewarding aspect of their job is imparting their knowledge and experience on Sailors who will in turn be able to help their shipmates out during their time of need.
NSF Deveselu is the seventh Navy Region EURAFSWA installation. EURAFSWA provides operational platforms ashore which enable U.S., allied and partner nation forces to be where they are needed and when they are needed, to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.
For more information and resources about NSF Deveselu please visit http://cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnreurafswa/installations/nsf_deveselu.html and http://www.facebook.com/NSFDeveselu/.
For more information and resources about NSF Redzikowo please visit http://www.facebook.com/NSFRedzikowo/ and http://cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnreurafswa/installations/nsf_redzikowo.html.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsfdevesel/.