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News | Oct. 12, 2022

DLA Distribution welcomes new sexual assault response coordinator 

By Diana Dawa, DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Yadira “Yadi” Morales is the new Defense Logistics Agency Distribution East sexual assault response coordinator.

Morales is one of two SARC’s for DLA Distribution – Majeeda Gathers is the DLA Distribution West SARC.

A SARC is considered the primary point of contact for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program within their respective location. They provide continuity of care that is gender-inclusive, culturally competent and recovery oriented. They also provide advocacy and accompaniment during medical, law enforcement and judicial procedures, assist with safety planning and crisis response and provide education and training.

With over 15 years of experience working with victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault, Morales says ever since she can remember, she wanted to be part of what she calls the “helping field.”  “I find it remarkably rewarding to provide support to someone in need, to be present in the moment with them, to believe them, to walk with them in what can be the most challenging terrain to maneuver,” she said. 

Morales has been a SARC for eight years. She, along with Gathers, will visit different distribution centers – at times teaming up to visit larger sites, providing in-person education and training as often as possible. They both agree that making connections is so important to the SAPR program.

“As SARCs, we serve as the central point of contact for coordinating appropriate and responsive care for victims of sexual assault,” said Gathers, who worked as a SARC with the Army for nine years and has been with DLA Distribution for two years. “I chose to work as a SARC simply because I absolutely love to help those in need.  It’s always a good day when a reported victim can leave my office feeling heard and at ease.  I love what I do.”

“So far everyone has been very welcoming, and the DLA team seems to be efficient in what they do,” said Morales. “The mission of DLA is extremely impressive, and I know I have a lot to learn about the organization. I’m looking forward to getting to know the people and to working together [with Gathers] to prevent sexual assault and assisting those who need support.”

“I have only been here a week, but Majeeda and I are looking into what initiatives we can bring in fiscal year 2023 with the goal of prevention in mind and we are also looking forward to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in April next year,” said Morales.

Gathers and Morales are currently in the process of completing the SAPR program plan for fiscal year 2023 which will address communication, training and outreach opportunities.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, the best resource is the DLA SAPR Hotline at 800-841-0937.