Salutes & Awards

January 10, 2014

Victim Advocate of the Month

advocate
Name: Julie Brater
Duty Title: Secretary to the Air Force Test Center Chief of Safety
Organization: Air Force Test Center
Number of years of service: Nine
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Why did you become a Volunteer Victim Advocate?
During my years managing the front office for the Wing Chaplain, I had the opportunity to be the first face or voice to those looking for support or assistance in dealing with a variety of issues including grief and abuse. When I moved to a new position, I found I missed working with the chaplains and caring for people.

A little over a year after starting my new job, the Sexual Assault and Response office was relocated right down the hall from my office. I was privileged to interact with the program coordinator, Kim Shirley, on a regular basis and began to understand more about the SAPR program. One morning, she approached me about serving as a Victim Advocate. It felt like a new door was opening.

I went through the training and started to doubt my ability to be of any help to anyone who had been through such trauma. As hard as it was to know the details of these crimes, it filled my heart with compassion for the victims involved. I am humbled and honored to have been extended this opportunity to serve others–just a voice on the phone or a hand to hold in tough circumstances; someone who is on their side when it feels like the world is against them.




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