Formerly in military police, Soldier now trains others in sexual assault awareness, prevention
Story by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (04/15/21)
During his career, Master Sgt. Aaron Foy has served and protected others as a military policeman. In 2015, he took on the added role of a sexual assault victim advocate at the suggestion of his battalion commander, who thought Foy would be well suited because of his ability to make training relatable for Soldiers.
Traditionally, victim advocates have been women, but, as the program has evolved, so has the need for men to step up as advocates.
We have quite a few men who are victim advocates, officer and enlisted. I believe it’s important that our VAs reflect our force makeup and also show that we care just as much as anyone else.
“We have quite a few men who are victim advocates, officer and enlisted. I believe it’s important that our VAs reflect our force makeup and also show that we care just as much as anyone else,” Foy said.
Currently, Foy is a victim advocate coordinator for the Ohio National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) program, based at the Joint Force Headquarters at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus. The SAPR program’s two main focuses are prevention, which includes awareness, and response. All Guard members are required to complete service-specific sexual assault prevention training.
“I assist in all aspects of the Ohio National Guard SAPR program, assisting in training or support as needed,” Foy said. “Every day is a reward for me to know that my job directly affects Soldiers and commanders in the Ohio National Guard.”
Foy’s demeanor, whether he’s conducting a training session or assisting a victim, is a quality that stands out to his coworkers.
“Master Sgt. Foy’s perspective has proven a valuable resource when providing training to our service members and other advocates across our brigades. His jovial demeanor puts people at ease and frees them to receive sometimes difficult material,” said Kyle Davidson, state SAPR victim advocate.
For Foy, the SAPR program is important to help ensure the health, safety and readiness of every Soldier and Airman.
“The program by far is the most challenging of my career, but I believe providing these services is what it means to be a leader at all levels,” he said.