NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – New technology is being used to help educate men and women in the military when it comes to reporting and investigating sexual assault cases.
New sexual assault and prevention training for the Air Force is being rolled out at Joint Base Charleston.
“This training is the next step in ensuring everybody in the Air Force gets the dignity, honor, and respect they deserve,” said Col. Marc Greene, Commander of Joint Base Charleston.
Twenty ‘Oculus Quest 2’ virtual reality headsets will now be used to teach airmen and women how to respond when someone comes to them and admits they have been the victim of a sexual assault.
“It’s important to utilize new technologies to make training more realistic and valuable to those we’re trying to teach and ultimately those we’re trying to protect,” said Col. Greene.
Kevin Cornish is the founder and CEO of Moth in Flame, the company that developed this program for the military. They have an initial $750,000 contract to bring this training to the Air Force.
A virtual sexual assault victim sits across the table from you and responds to your questions about how you can help her.
“Being able to look somebody in the eye and feel the empathy of what they’re going through … and have to figure out what I want to say to somebody when you’re going through a difficult moment,” said Cornish.
“I loved it,” said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Miranda with Joint Base Charleston. “It was very interactive, and it really puts you in that situation of how to deal with being approached by a victim potentially.”
SSgt. Miranda went through the training and knew first-hand how victims may feel.
“I’ve dealt with it,” she said. “I’m a sexual assault survivor myself so I’ve been through the victim side of it as well. I understand how the process works as well as working with other people.”
She says this virtual environment really keeps you focused on the victim.
“It really makes it surreal for you. It feels like it’s just you and that other person in the room and you have to work through the problem. You can’t necessarily look away or fall asleep as you would with typical PowerPoint training,” said Staff Sgt. Miranda.
The training was first introduced at Joint Base Charleston and will be rolled out at a base in Little Rock Arkansas next.