SAVI Offers Advocacy, Education to Those in Need


Story Number: NNS090915-10Release Date: 9/15/2009 12:55:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Troutman

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) are reminded of the ship's Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program and its role in the battle against an ever-present danger amongst all military personnel.

The SAVI program is a comprehensive, standardized, victim-sensitive system to prevent and respond to sexual assault Navy-wide. Truman's SAVI program is comprised of two points of contact and a group of advocates who are ready to assist victims of a sexual assault from beginning to end.

"Our overall mission in the SAVI program is to provide training to all personnel on sexual assault and to prevent rape as well as other forms of sexual assault from happening," said Senior Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate (AW/SW) Lora Alyster, leading chief petty officer of AIMD's IM-2 Division and one of the ship's SAVI points of contact.

According to Alyster, the SAVI program was implemented by the Navy in the 1990s due to an increasing rise in claims of sexual assault. A program was established for victims to receive treatment and information regarding the matter.

"Sexual assault or rape is such a serious crime, and it hurts a person to the fiber of their being," said Alyster. "It takes years of healing and it takes something from that person that they can never get back."

Statistics reveal that 40 percent of sexual assault victims in the Navy separate from the service within 18 months of an incident. The vast majority of sexual assault incidents go unreported because of fear, embarrassment or denial.

"When a person becomes a victim of sexual assault, they can lose sight of their mission in the Navy," said Alyster. "It can ruin a person's career because it causes so many negative effects."

Sailors who would like to volunteer to become a SAVI advocate should contact a SAVI representative. Once they receive permission from their chain of command to apply for the program, Sailors will be interviewed by a SAVI representative to assess their strengths as an advocate.

Upon successful completion of the interview, the Sailor will be referred to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for a further interview process and assessment. Upon completion of the interview, the Sailor attends intensive four-day training class on becoming a SAVI advocate.

Truman's SAVI program is supplemented by an increasing number of advocates and a chain of command that is firmly behind the mission of the program, Alyster said.

"Truman Sailors are so lucky they have such a supportive command, from the commanding officer down to the SAVI advocates," said Alyster. "The commanding officer, the executive officer and the command master chief are very serious about the SAVI program and they believe in taking whatever measures necessary to ensure their Sailors are safe."

To learn more about SAVI, visit http://cnrsv.navy.mil/fsc/savi.asp.

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

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