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The Department of Defense annually recognizes SARC professionals from each military service whose work has been noteworthy and demonstrated outstanding service in support of service members.
Nauss has served as the installation SARC since February 2020, managing the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program and leading 51 victim advocates.
“We provide education, awareness, outreach and prevention throughout the year to ensure Sailors know the seriousness of sexual assault and that the Navy has zero tolerance for this destructive behavior,” said Nauss. “We also ensure the victim knows that they have a safe space where he or she will be believed and supported.”
Several of her initiatives and process improvements were shared as examples of excellence with other installations and regions by Commander, Naval Installation Command.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nauss provided innovative training opportunities, coordinated socially distanced spaces for advocates to meet with victims face-to-face and worked with Sexual Assault Forensic Exam nurses on rules and procedures for completing medical and forensic exams while observing health and safety measures.
“I fell in love with the idea of supporting people through some of their hardest days and empowering them as they heal,” said Nauss. “Victim advocacy is not counseling. As an advocate, we are the central hub so to speak for all of the support services a survivor may desire and we can facilitate greater healing by ensuring their needs are met.”
In addition to her regular duties, Nauss volunteered to support Naval Air Station Meridian as their SARC for six months while the position was vacant. She also serves on the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault and the New Orleans Sexual Assault Response Team.
Nauss is a graduate of Liberty University with a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling and is currently pursuing a second Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
“We want to help survivors of sexual assault heal and we tailor our support to each person’s needs,” shared Nauss. “For some that means coming by one time and sharing their story, gathering resources, and moving along without ever filing a formal report and for others that means filing an unrestricted report and having a trusted confidant on the journey through prosecution. There is no one size fits all path to recovery from such a personal and heinous crime, but the SAPR team is always here 24/7/365 to aid in the healing process.”
The Navy’s SAPR Program, managed by CNIC, supports victims of sexual assault through advocacy and access to numerous resources including counseling, guidance for reporting an assault and Victim’s Legal Counsel, which helps victims understand the military justice process.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and would like help, please visit Safehelpline.org or call 877-995-5247.
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