Special Victims’ Counsel staff offers legal assistance, advocacy

Special Victims' Counsel Maj. Kacy Dixon, left; Special Victims' Counsel Paralegal, Staff Sgt. Brandy Brewer. U.S. Air Force photos
Special Victims' Counsel Maj. Kacy Dixon, left; Special Victims' Counsel Paralegal, Staff Sgt. Brandy Brewer. U.S. Air Force photos

April is usually Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, but COVID-19 impeded the ability to gather and hold events and activities that would have typically been set up to raise awareness about a topic that directly affects approximately 19,000 servicemembers annually and indirectly affects many more.

But there’s no need to wait for a designated month to discuss this important issue. As such, this is an opportunity to promote the Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) program.

The Special Victims' Counsel office at Wright-Patterson Air Force is a two-person office with one attorney, special victims' counsel Maj. Kacy Dixon, and one special victims' paralegal, Staff Sgt. Brandy Brewer.

The office’s primary duty in the Air Force is to provide legal representation and a voice of advocacy for victims of crimes of sexual assault and abusive sexual contact. Staff educates and advises clients on the civilian and military justice processes, assists them in understanding the investigative process and advocates for them both in and out of the courtroom.

As members of the Air Force legal profession, Dixon and Brewer can represent clients in trial proceedings under the military’s jurisdiction. While they do not have standing to represent clients in court outside of the military jurisdiction, they can still assist clients by familiarizing them with the legal process and helping to facilitate effective communication and coordination with civilian investigators and prosecutors.

The office’s goals are to empower victims, through education and advice, to make important decisions about their assault; ensure client safety through advocacy to command teams and civilian law enforcement; protect clients' rights to privacy and to be treated with dignity and respect; and make their voices heard.

While they can assist clients through the legal aftermath of an assault, initial reports should be made to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) office. If a victim desires and is eligible for SVC services, the SAPR office will submit a referral on their behalf.

All communications between office and clients are confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege.

If you would like more information on resources available to victims of sexual assault, call any of the following number:

Local resources:

Wright-Patterson AFB Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Helpline: 937-257-7272 or 937-689-2154 (24/7)

Wright-Patterson AFB, Office of the Special Victims' Counsel: 937-522-3333

Nationwide:

Department of Defense Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4613)

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