AF Special Victims’ Counsel: advocating for Airmen’s rights and privacy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Sexual assault is a problem that is still prevalent today, even in the military. If a sexual assault or incident of domestic violence occurs, it is important that people know what resources are available to them. 

On Kirtland Air Force Base, the mission of the Special Victims’ Counsel is to provide advice, legal representation and to advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence while protecting their rights. 

“The SVC can provide legal representation and services to qualifying Airmen all around the world,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Irene M. Liscano, 377th Air Base Wing SVC. “Once we get a request and enter into an attorney-client relationship with the victim, then we provide legal representation for military justice matters that happens there after.”

When making a report, there is the choice to file a restricted report or an unrestricted report. 

“A restricted report means that an investigation will not be opened regarding the allegation that was made,” said U.S. Air Force Staff. Sgt. Chelica L. Thompson, 377th Air Base Wing SVC paralegal. “In an unrestricted report, an investigation will be opened, the Office of Special Investigations will be involved and the individuals chain of command will be notified.” 

Thompson said that if the report is unrestricted, then the victim can request the SVC to be present during interviews, hearings and court-martial. 

Both SVC advocates are part of the Judge Advocates General Corps. They are trained to assist victims through every step of the military justice process. 

“Being an SVC means that I am their advocate,” said Liscano. “They now have somebody that represents their interests, who understands the military justice process and will advocate for them so that they are treated with respect, dignity and their rights are protected.” 

To request an SVC, contact your local Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, Family Advocacy Program, legal office or the SVC at 505-846-2323.