Sexual Assault Response Coordinators oversee the immediate safety needs of those who report sexual assault, connecting them to resources and assigning a Victim Advocate to provide advocacy and assistance throughout the medical, investigative, and legal processes. They train thousands of Service Members each year to respond more effectively to victims and on prevention initiatives.
This award recognizes individuals whose work has been particularly noteworthy and demonstrates outstanding service in support of Service Members. The Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office congratulates the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps 2020 Exceptional Sexual Assault Response Coordinators of the Year: Mrs. Raquel Hernandez with the Fleet and Family Support Center Naval Air Station Lemoore as well as Ms. Shirley D. Stephens, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
Ms. Stephens has helped crafted a culture of the sexual assault awareness and zero-tolerance in her region. Ms. Stephens has made positive impacts via new or nontraditional program services which have filtered out to victims, service members, and command leadership. An example is Ms. Stephens took proactive steps to upgrade the 24/7 Sexual Assault Support Line for increased communication effectiveness between victims and civilian advocates. This included the upgrade of civilian advocate phones resulting in better linkage between victims and advocates by allowing for text messaging and outlook email receipt. Ms. Stephens continues to demonstrate maturity, character, competency and commitment in her assigned role by consistently providing stable program support and continuity for the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocates (Vas) throughout the region.
Mrs. Hernandez distinguished herself as a superior trainer achieving impressive results overseeing educational curriculum. She completed 19 Senior Leader "Commander's Tool Kits" capitalizing and maximizing the leadership Triads' time by coordinating presentations with the Victim Legal Counsel and a Family Advocacy Representative to cover the Family Advocacy Program and the Sailor Assistance and Intercept for Life programs. Her oversight of the SAPR Program resulted in her Sexual Assault Case Management Group being recognized as "Best in the Region" by the Installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator during a site visit in June 2019. The Regional Sexual Assault Response Coordinator noted the impact Mrs. Hernandez's influence has had on the positive working relationship and mutual respect among Sexual Assault Case Management Group members. Additionally, under Mrs. Hernandez's leadership, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response drills conducted by the Installation Training officer have been flawless.
An innovator. A contributor. A warrior against sexual assault. If these words describe someone you know, consider nominating them for the third annual DOD Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award!
Victims of military sexual assault are never alone. Marines and their families have immediate access to resources and referrals by calling their installation’s 24/7 Sexual Assault Support Line.