by Senior Airman Phillip Houk
460th Space Wing Public Affairs
5/8/2015 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- "We
are here for literally everybody on Buckley," said Peggy Moore-Mccoy,
460th Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "We are here for
military, spouses and dependents, retired, veterans, Department of
Defense civilians and contractors. If you are affiliated with Buckley or
the military at all, we're here for you."
Due to the experiences she's had, Moore-Mccoy has a unique view on
survivors and why many of them join the military. She wasn't dealt the
best hand early in life, however, her drive and determination has
allowed her to use her early experiences to help others.
"My early childhood was filled with a lot of domestic violence," she
said. "I had one of those childhoods where I was raised in the inner
city, saw a lot of gang violence and had to avoid a lot of gang
violence. My three brothers ended up in jail and two of them died in
jail from violence, drugs and alcoholism."
To change her path in life like many before her, Moore-Mccoy used the U.S. Air Force.
"Basically I came into the military to get away from violence," she
said. "I was in the military for eight years, doing cryptologic
maintenance. There were only 10 women who originally entered the career
field. I loved being in the military and it was definitely a calling."
Moore-Mccoy served for several years, separating due to family reasons.
After separating, she made a shocking discovery that opened her eyes to
the reality of sexual assault.
"My oldest daughter was actually a victim of sexual assault," she said.
"She cannot tell us who the perpetrator was, we just know something
happened. It haunts me that we were unable to help her at that time."
After she separated, Moore-Mccoy continued to using the skills the Air
Force taught her, allowing her to pursue her real passion.
"As my family got older, I decided to go back to school and get my
degrees," she said. "While I was getting my degree I was working as a
teacher and educational counselor."
After receiving degrees in communications studies and counseling,
Moore-Mccoy continued to work as an educational councilor until
presented with a new opportunity in 2005.
"When I got the information about this particular program, it hit me at
home," she said. "There are boys, there are girls, who are hurt by this
crime and offenders who get under the radar simply because we don't
suspect them as offenders."
A friend of Moore-Mccoy asked if she had heard about a new AF job. She
said they were looking for people who have counseling degrees to be what
they call a SARC. "That is so cool and exactly what I want to do," she
"It was one of those blessings where God said, 'This is exactly where
you need to be,' and it was absolutely fantastic," she said.
Because of the empathy she has for sexual assault victims, Moore-Mccoy
has a unique understanding of what the military means to them.
"They survive a trauma, they survive being a victim of some type of
interpersonal violence in their childhood," she said. "Believe it or not
a lot of survivors actually come into the military to gain a sense of
power, control and family. The military becomes powerful to them because
they gain a family tie, and gain a sense of power, from being a person
in the military"
A benefit of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program is its
ability to work with all parts of the military, not only small portions.
This effort included the many events held by the SAPR program during
the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month activities held
through the month of April.
"The month raises awareness of the crime," she said, "but also raises
awareness of the resources available, prevention methods and education."
The events held by the SAPR program included a 5k run, a day of bowling,
a presentation given by sexual assault survivors and many booths set up
throughout the month to raise awareness, and change one major
misconception still seen on Buckley.
"Lots of civilians think they cannot come talk to us, that we are not here for them, and that is not true", said Moore-Mccoy.
Beyond being available for the entire base, the SARC has begun working
with outside agencies to increase awareness and cause change on a larger
"We are cutting edge, we are the ones who are actually changing
society," she said. "Colleges are now where the military was a few years
ago under the media spotlight. In not knowing exactly what to do, they
are actually turning to the DOD to see what they have done. Even in this
area there are three major colleges who are mimicking the bystander
intervention training the Air Force did."
Part of this attitude towards sexual assault has been created through
the Air Force placing sexual assault as a high priority. Because of this
Moore-Mccoy and victim advocates throughout the year host events, teach
and show how important sexual assault prevention is.
"People can come and talk to us without opening a case," she said. "They
can get information, they can tell us their story, the can get options
for reporting, they can get care and services, and wait until they are
comfortable with opening a case and do it."
Due to the efforts of the SAPR program, Moore-Mccoy has noticed a shift in the types of reports being made.
"Recently many of the cases are now coming to us on the lower end of the
spectrum of harm," said Moore-Mccoy. "That means that people are now
coming to us reporting instances of sexual assault that involve touch,
rather than waiting until it involves rape."
When approaching Moore-Mccoy with a question, there is one important thing to remember.
"The most important thing to remember is that our conversation is
confidential," she said. "They don't have to worry about me sharing it,
they don't have to worry about me notifying command or anything like
that. My goal is to put them at east so they can talk about whatever is