Victim Advocate Files: Staff Sgt. Janet Schreiber

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's Note: This feature story is part of the "Victim Advocate Files" series that focuses on the Airmen who provide support to sexual assault victims and do their part to prevent future incidents among Ellsworth Airmen.)

Ellsworth is currently home to 32 victim advocates - men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to make certain no sexual assault victim has to endure the recovery process alone.

Among those victim advocates is Staff Sgt. Janet Schreiber, 28th Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance support section NCO in charge, whose motivation to help sexual assault victims was forged from painful memories.

Having traveled the hard road most victim's walk, she knows firsthand of the importance of providing support to victims to ensure they know they are not alone.

"I had a lot of negative experiences early on in my career and I didn't have anyone to turn to," Schreiber admitted. "I became a victim advocate so I could be educated about the support avenues that are available, and be to someone else the person that I never had."

The Air Force has made sexual assault prevention one of its top priorities, and Schreiber said she believes it's important for Airmen to stay informed.

"So many people go to these briefings, but it doesn't always sink in," Schreiber said. "We want people to know what's okay and what's not okay."

The Casper, Wyo., native who has been in the Air Force for 10 years, said a key turning point for victims will be when the axis of investigations shifts to the perpetrator.

"So much of society focuses on blaming the victim," Schreiber noted. "Our biggest thing is educating people not to blame the victim and making sure victims are taken care of."

Schreiber said it took her three years to be able to attend the mandatory, 40-hour initial victim advocate training class due to conflicts in her schedule. One year later, she loves it more than ever.

"I'm super proud to be a victim advocate," Schreiber said.

For more information on becoming a victim advocate, call the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office at (605) 385-5233.

To report sexual assault, call the SAPR Office at (605) 385-5233 or the 24/7 reporting line at (605) 385-SARC (7272).