SAPR Program grows to better support Team McConnell

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
McConnell’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program now has nine new volunteer victim advocates, making a total of 20 on base.

“Volunteer Victim Advocates are one of the backbones of our program,” said Lynn Turner, 22nd Air Refueling Wing sexual assault response coordinator. “They have to have a passion and desire to want to help victims of sexual violence. Without our volunteers, we are an office of two, so we really need the volunteers to help support any victims that we might have on McConnell.”

The Airmen went through 40 hours of training this week to become nationally-certified victim advocates.

“We learned a lot about things to expect whenever we’re working with victims as far as how they may be trying to process their trauma or how to try to understand some of the things that they’ve been through,” said 2nd Lt. Erin Madden, 22nd Force Support Squadron unit readiness officer in-charge and volunteer victim advocate.

Victim advocates must be dedicated and prepared to help and support victims in their times of need.

“I don’t mind opening up and saying that I was a victim, but it kind of helps me feel better knowing that I can be a comfort to someone else,” said Staff Sgt. Salena Burns, 931st Operations Support Squadron operations technician and volunteer victim advocate. “So for me, just being that support for somebody else—that’s what it’s all about; that’s what led me to be a victim advocate.”

To get support from a sexual assault response coordinator or victim advocate, call (316) 759-1872 or the 24-hour help line at (316) 759-HELP/4357.