131st gains full-time resource to support sexual assault response
By Airman 1st Class Halley Burgess, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 05, 2016
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo -- Amy Creighton recently joined the 131st Bomb Wing as its sexual assault response coordinator, in support of Guard Airmen who have faced sexual assault.
"As the first dedicated 131st SARC, Amy is a tremendous asset to the wing with her extensive background in the program at Whiteman and in the local community," said Col. Kenneth Eaves, 131st BW vice commander. In his role, Eaves oversees the wing's sexual assault response program.
"Her enthusiasm and dedication is truly a testament to the professional and passionate individual she is, and has driven her to propel the TFI program to new heights garnering state, MAJCOM and AF-level recognition on numerous occasions," he added.
Creighton is a part of an important program that offers a safe environment for both Airmen and civilians, regardless of status, to find support after a sexual assault.
"The Guard saw the importance of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program," Creighton said. "We have always been a total force integrated group. However, we only had a SARC liaison. Now the Guard has decided to make it a stand-alone position. We want to dedicate a member, for the good of the Guard, to be 100 percent available to Airmen, 24/7."
Creighton, whose father retired while stationed here, has called the Whiteman area home for the last 20 years. She began her work for the military in the mental health clinic on base. In 2009, she transitioned to the sexual assault response coordinator for the 509th Bomb Wing, and joined the 131st in the same role in February 2016. Having a father in the military and growing up around the lifestyle cultivated a love for the military, kept her at Whiteman and led her to a career helping Airmen.
"Amy was pivotal to launching the successful TFI SAPR program at Whiteman and Jefferson Barracks three years ago," said Capt. Rachel Savage, the 131st BW executive officer and prior SARC. "Having worked with her closely since 2013, I know her abilities are far-reaching and she will continue to push the team across the state to greater heights."
The SARC offers resources and referrals to not just members, but to anyone who has been assaulted and is seeking support, on or off base. Creighton teaches sexual assault prevention and other related classes and participates in other prevention work around the base. She also offers victim response for anyone who has questions regarding sexual assault for themselves or someone else. If an Airman or someone they know experiences sexual assault, they should first call the SARC hotline at 660-687-SARC (7272).
"If something happens and you can't remember what to do or who to call, once you're in a safe place, call the hotline," Creighton explained. "Let us walk you through the process and do the work for you. We want people to use us as their 911 for sexual assault."
The SARC can refer strict legal advice that's specific to the needs of the victim. The military has a special victim counsel that is assigned to a victim to answer any questions. Creighton also has resources in St. Louis for members who drill at Jefferson Barracks or who live near that area. Members who work for the SAPR program are educated and trained on how to most effectively communicate with and help a victim, and remove any victim blaming.
A person who has experienced sexual assault and who comes to them guides the entire process, said Creighton. Care begins the moment the member picks up the phone, and ends only when they have told the SARC they no longer require her services.
"Sometimes you hear the term 'victim' or sometimes you hear the word 'survivor,'" Creighton said. "In our office, when somebody walks in or picks up the phone, they are a victim. Our goal is to empower that person so that when they leave, they leave a survivor."
For more information on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, contact Amy Creighton at firstname.lastname@example.org. She may also be reached via phone at her office number 660-687-2324, or via her cell phone at 660-233-3152.