Sexual assault reports increase at F.E. Warren Air Force Base

Published: Dec. 8, 2017 at 6:57 PM CST
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A recent annual report from the U.S. Department of Defense says the number of reports of sexual assault in the 2016 fiscal year at Cheyenne's F.E. Warren Air Force Base totaled 16. Compared to previous years, the number almost quadrupled.

CBS NewsChannel 5 asked F.E. Warren's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Jill Randall, why the number of reports increased during the short time-frame. Randall said, "I think nation-wide we’re coming to see that this is an issue everywhere, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that this is a vastly under-reported crime with only 40% of people coming forward.”

In order to paint a better picture, Randall said only seven of those incidents actually happened at the F.E. Warren AFB. She said some of the reports have taken place when an individual has been deployed, during childhood, and at previous locations before coming to the base. According to Randall, their program will open their doors to anyone who has been through the traumatic experience. She added, "My hope and my thought is that through education, training, outreach and support, we’ve empowered people who have been victims of sexual assault to come forward and get the help that they need.”

Randall says the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program has worked to improve their services. They've increased the number from four to 12 victim advocates to help people receive immediate quality care. They provide a 24/7 hour helpline (307-773-7272) that can help with medical care, mental health and other options to help someone who has been a victim. In conjunction with SAPR, the program called Green Dot helps train airmen to prevent the situation from happening.

By spreading awareness, providing more open discussions, and requiring annual training, it's something Randall says F.E. Warren AFB takes seriously. Not only was SPAR recognized for their quality program last year, but Randall also said, "If you are going through something like this you should never have to do it alone, there are people out there that want to help, who care and can empower you to make your own choices."