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Support group provides hope for survivors

Two women stand infront of a table while posing for a picture.

Linda Benjamin, 19th Airlift Wing SAPR coordinator, and Tiffany Clark, 19th AW SAPR victim’s advocate, created an anonymous support group which provides resources to give people hope and help them cope with traumatic events that have taken place in their life. The group offers material to people who attend that could be useful in their healing process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Team Little Rock members have a variety of options to foster their emotional and mental health. Those looking to connect with others while learning healthy coping methods now have a new way to seek out care and support.

Little Rock Air Force Base’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team created an anonymous support group that provides resources to give people hope and help them cope with traumatic events that have taken place in their life. The group offers material to those who attend that could be useful in their healing process.

“We act as facilitators, not counselors, and we present topics that are important to most victims or that affect their lives,” said Tiffany Clark, 19th Airlift Wing SAPR victim’s advocate. “We provide coping skills that they can learn and use to create their own path to recovery.”

The meetings, which take place every Monday at 4:30 p.m., rotate through a multiple-step process, encompassing many aspects of attaining the resolution one needs after a traumatic incident. The material is restarted upon completion of all the lessons allowing for members of the group to come and go when it’s beneficial for them.

“We rotate through the 12 sessions, so you can come in at any time and leave at any time,” said Linda Benjamin, 19th AW SAPR coordinator. “You don’t have to start or stop at a certain time because we continually go over the 12 sessions.”

Clark strives to make people feel included and encourages them to set goals, no matter how small, to help boost morale.

“We ask them to share one thing they can celebrate as a success for the week,” Clark said. “Then they make small goals.”

Clark emphasized that the camaraderie one can get from being a part of the group, which is the only SAPR-led survivor support groups in the Air Mobility Command, is seen as beneficial to developing a sense of belonging and makes the person feel like someone actually cares, which also provides connectedness with people during their recovery who share similar experiences.

“We are going to be there with them,” Clark said. “Once they start coming to the group and making those friendships, they start to realize people care.”

According to Clark, the SAPR team plays an essential role in the broader Herk Nation — one they take deep pride in, uplifting people with the knowledge they have.

“I feel like we are hope givers,” Clark said. “That is kind of our mission because not having any hope is a dangerous place to be. We want to give that hope when people are starting to lose it.”

The group also brings hope to Clark and Benjamin that the negative stigma involved with someone seeking mental or emotional help will be resolved by presenting an uplifting atmosphere for survivors of traumatic events.

For information regarding the meetings, contact Tiffany Clark at (501)-987-2697 or the 24-hour hotline at (501)-987-7272.

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