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    I Am Navy Medicine – and Victim Advocate – Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Crystal Munns

    I Am Navy Medicine – and Victim Advocate – Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Crystal Munns

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | Teal with a purpose…Service before self has been the guiding principle for Hospital...... read more read more

    Service before self has been the guiding principle for Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Crystal Munns during her 10 years in Navy Medicine.

    Her heightened standard of providing care to those in need extends well beyond daily responsibilities to the crucial collateral duty as a victim advocate for sexual assault sufferers.

    “I decided to become a victim advocate because I wanted to be there for those individuals who do go through a hard situation and letting them know they are not alone. We are there to help them whenever needed to get back on their feet and show support,” said Munns, currently assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton Pediatric Clinic as leading petty officer.

    With April designated by the Department of Defense as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, victim advocates such as Munns take on an active role in the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration as part of the command’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team.

    “For those who do not know about a victim advocate, I let them know that we provide information and resources such as emotional support or letting one know they are safe while coping with trauma,” stressed Munns, a Miami, Florida native and West Broward High School 2013 grad.

    As a Navy victim advocate, Munn is specially trained to assist victims in finding their own route to recovery by advising them on such procedures as reporting options and various resources. Munn augments her medical training and experience with added empathy, consideration and kindness for a scenario fraught with distress and difficulty. Part of her duties also include explaining how the Navy restricted and unrestricted reporting policy encourages victims to seek the medical treatment that is available to them without fear of reprisal or stigma.

    Munns attests that the most important responsibility of being a victim advocate is just to be there when anyone needs someone to rely upon. The entire process can be daunting.

    “Being the support system for those who have endured trauma at any point in time and understanding those individuals need kindness and someone to actively listen and be patient with them,” remarked Munns.

    The Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program mission is to prevent and respond to sexual assault, eliminating it through a balanced, overlapping process of focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy, and just adjudication to promote professionalism, respect, and trust, while preserving Navy mission readiness.

    Compiled data by the DoD shows there were 2,052 Navy sexual assaults reports by victim for fiscal year 2022, with the majority – 1,962 – of reports made by service members.

    Munns knows her background is helping others.

    “My corpsman training does assist me to recognize signs of individuals who may have endured trauma and may not be able to speak out comfortably to ask for help,” stated Munns who initially enlisted in 2013.

    “I was 17 when I joined the Navy. I wanted to follow my father footsteps since he served for 26 years. I had a passion for medicine due to my mother being a prior nurse in Puerto Rico,” related Munns, citing the diverse workforce and the capabilities offered by Navy Medicine enticed her to join.

    “Hospital corpsmen are suited for any environment and getting comfortable being uncomfortable,” Munns shared. “We can go from being on a ship at sea to a hospital ashore or go ‘greenside’ and deploy with the Marines.”

    Munns has served at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida in the Internal Medicine Clinic and Gastroenterology from 2014-2016, followed by field medical training at Camp Lejeune before being assigned on the West Coast from 2016 to 2018, first with Camp Pendleton Headquarters Regiment then attached and deployed with Marine Expeditionary Unit Combat Logistics Battalion 13. A recruiting tour followed in Denver, Colorado, before her current assignment at NHB, working in Family Medicine for her first year and Pediatrics for the second year. She has also handled instructor duty for Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Traumatic Brain Injury training.

    “The best part of my career would be when I was stationed in Denver recruiting future Sailors to become part of the Navy and being able to maintain contacts with those Sailors who are still in and seeing how far come in their career,” stated Munns, who is also working towards her bachelor’s degree in human resources from American Military University. “I enjoy navigating Sailors through their careers and witnessing their accomplishments being part of team.”

    With a number of events scheduled throughout April at NHB for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, Munns is also busy helping to coordinate staff involvement with continual awareness for such events as the annual ‘SAAPM 5K,’ ‘Chalk the Walk,’ ‘Teal Tuesday,’ and more.

    “I will be lead for the Denim Decorating Display alongside with HM2 Corn,” added Munns,

    When asked to sum up her experience here with Navy Medicine in one sentence, Munns replied, “My experience with Navy Medicine has been educational, rewarding and gratifying.”

    As well as supportive for those in need in her role as a victim advocate.



    Date Taken: 04.08.2024
    Date Posted: 04.08.2024 17:57
    Story ID: 468076
    Location: BREMERTON , WA, US

    Web Views: 249
    Downloads: 0