Wright-Patt SAPR victim advocates offer a GPS of resources

  • Published
  • By Brian Dietrick
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – When Airmen become victims of violence, the mission is affected. To make sure these victims are supported in their time of need, members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocate program remain ready to assist 24/7.

The Wright-Patt SAPR team provides a multitude of services to more than 100 units on the installation. The top-level support provided to base personnel to effectively help victims of sexual assault wouldn’t be possible without victim advocates.

Victim advocates provide non-clinical crisis intervention, referral and on-going support to sexual assault victims. They work hand-in-hand with other agencies to provide care for adult victims throughout the entire process.

There are two types of victim’s advocates: staff victim advocates and volunteer victim advocates. Staff victim advocates are full-time civilians whose primary job is to continually assist victim. Volunteer victim advocates allow the SAPR program to expand its workforce to include varying backgrounds, religions and military expertise, giving clients access to a diverse group of individuals and ensuring they are comfortable receiving SAPR services.

“Volunteer victim advocates give the word ‘volunteer’ a whole new meaning,” said Jamie Rowe, Wright-Patterson SAPR staff victim advocate. “They give more than their time and labor. They provide kindness, compassion and a safe space to heal.”

Wright-Patterson has two full-time staff victim advocates and 26 volunteer victim advocates from various units across both areas of the installation.

“There is never any pressure to fill out any paperwork,” said Anja Kelley, Wright-Patterson SAPR staff victim advocate. “It’s important for people to know that a SAPR case is completely different than a judicial case. SAPR can provide resources and support without law enforcement involvement throughout the entirety of the process and even after final disposition.”

Responsibilities of an advocate also include providing information on available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions. With permission, they may also accompany the victim to medical, investigative, legal proceedings and court hearings.

“I love the benefits that we can see in the community, and I can see the impact we make with the individuals that we work with,” said Lydia Leasher, WPAFB SAPR program manager. “We are here to help and happy to support!”

Due to Air Force administrative changes, the Wright-Patterson SAPR office is not currently looking for additional volunteer victim advocates.

For more information and to view their GPS of resources, visit https://www.wpafb.af.mil/Units/SAPR/.