JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C., –
The Joint Base Charleston - Air Base officially welcomed its new Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Coordinator on Aug. 26, 2013.
Florine King, JB Charleston - Air Base SARC, came to Charleston from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, where she was the installation SARC for more than two years.
"I'm very excited to be here and to help improve an already great program," said King.
King has a master's degree in Human Services with an emphasis on Social Work and Community Service, as well as a long history of service with the military.
"I love the military, having served and retired from the U. S. Army," said King. "After retiring, I began working with special needs families in the Exceptional Family Member Program."
Eventually, King learned of the Sexual Assault Prevention Program while stationed at Fort Erwin Army Base, Calif., and signed up to be a Victim Advocate.
"I started out slow and worked as a VA, but before I knew it, I was spending the majority of my time involved with the program," said King. "I quickly learned that helping victims of sexual assault was my calling."
King has been spending most of her first month here getting to know base leadership and her VAs.
"My long-term goal here is to establish a model SAPR program that the entire DOD can learn from," said King. "My short term goal is to educate the base populace on sexual assault preventative measures, as well as what happens to victims when they are sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is a life-altering event and people need to understand the overall impact on not just the servicemember, but on the unit as well as family and friends."
Joint Base Charleston has two SARCs. King is the SARC for the Air Base, and Tiffany Mizzell is the JB Charleston - Weapons Station SARC, taking care of Sailors.
"I really look forward to working with Mrs. King on building an even stronger culture of sexual assault awareness here at JB Charleston," said Mizzell. "Our VAs play a huge role in making these programs successful and I know both the Air Force and Navy programs are always looking for more volunteers."
Victim Advocates serve on the frontline in Sexual Assault Response. These dedicated volunteers have in-depth training and knowledge on how to assist an individual requiring assistance after an assault.
"VAs are how we get the word out about sexual assault prevention and they play a huge role in getting victims of sexual assault the proper services needed to recover," said King. "We are looking for individuals with a passion for helping others. Being a VA is not for the faint of heart."
Victims of sexual assault who want to initiate an official investigation should use current reporting channels such as the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, their chain of command, law enforcement, the SARC or the on-call volunteer Victim Advocate.
"My door is always open," said King. "Please feel free to come by and talk with me, even if you just want to come and learn about the program, I love helping others."
The Air Base SARC can be reached at (843) 963-7881 and the after-hours number is (843) 963-7272, which is the on-call victim advocate hotline. The Weapons Station SARC can be reached at (843) 276-9855, and the after-hours on-call Victim Advocate telephone number is (843) 478-8615.