Victim Advocate Files: Tech. Sgt. Lattimore

  • 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 report a sexual assault are eligible to receive medical care and professional guidance to help them obtain a sense of closure about their situation, but victim advocates are always at the ready, guaranteeing the victim's support doesn't end with exams and interviews.

Among those victim advocates is Tech. Sgt. LaDonna Lattimore, 28th Maintenance Operations Squadron scheduling element NCO in charge.

Part of the program since 2011, Lattimore said one of her responsibilities is making herself available to victims on an on-call basis when they are unable to contact the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

"The mere thought of helping someone in a time of need, and being able to encourage those people who become victims of sexual assault is what drove me to become a victim advocate," Lattimore said.

These victims often experience guilt or shame after an attack, and may even hold themselves accountable for what happened.

Lattimore wants to help change that trend.

"Don't ever think you ever deserve to be sexually assaulted," Lattimore emphasized. "You have the right to make your situation be heard, and victim advocates and the SARC (sexual assault response coordinator) can help you with that."

For more information on becoming a victim advocate, call the SAPR 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).