Victim Advocate Files: Senior Airman Mound

  • 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.

Airmen who have experienced a sexual attack may feel like no one understands what they're going through. However, victim advocates complete comprehensive training that aims to bridge that gap and prepare victim advocates to be understanding confidantes.

Senior Airman Mike Mound, 28th Maintenance Squadron avionics technician, has been a victim advocate for nearly a year. He said coming forward after an incident is the best way to begin healing.

"If you don't report it (sexual assault), the perpetrator `wins'," Mound emphasized. "You may not `win' if you do report it, but you'll be a little closer to justice."

Victim advocates are trained for 40 hours when they enter the program. Mound said a briefing from Ellsworth's Office of Special Investigations and a tour of a local hospital gave him a better grasp on what the road to recovery is like for victims.

Mound added he is always ready to assist someone in need.

"I have had the unfortunate experience of knowing a few people close to me who have been raped or molested," Mound said. "As much as I'd like to focus on apprehending the perpetrator, letting law enforcement take care of that side is the best way to go. The next best way to rectify the situation is to help the victim."

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).