The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Soldier plans advocate future

 

November 1, 2016

Editor’s note: The following is an article in a series of local volunteers. By Matthew Asher STAFF WRITER [email protected] With her 20 years serving the U.S. Air Force nearly at an end, Tech Sgt. Michelle Robinson already knows what she wants to do when she becomes a civilian: Help people who have been victims of sexual assault. “When I get out of the Air Force, this is what I want to do full-time,” Robinson said. “For me it’s the personal connection because I do have some rough relationships in my past so I can relate on a personal level. It’s where I can talk on a calmer level and be more of myself than when I’m at Cannon.” As a volunteer for ARISE, Robinson is a victim advocate who has been with ARISE since March of this year. “We take calls from the hotline and respond with the nurse to the victims that have been assaulted, sexually,” Robinson said. “We pretty much are there as the support to listen and answer questions. We try to help out however we can. I’ll go with the nurse out to the patient. I may help out the nurse with the exam. We go as far as Hobbs to Tucumcari and Union to Muleshoe.” Covering approximately 200 miles both north/south and east/west, this is nothing new to Robinson, as she’s been involved with victim advocacy in some form since 2009. “This is my fourth base,” she said. “I’ve been with the Air Force 18 years in January. I had gotten involved with the SARC (Sexual Assault Response Coordinator) in 2009 when I was at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. “I’ve been here since May 2014 but I went to Alaska in 2010 and helped with the SARC program there. I also worked in the pharmacy there. We had new personnel so I had to train them. I was the most experienced and needed some time to train everyone.” Robinson said she has yet to experience a situation with a happy ending, but she knows that’s not really part of the job. “It’s a personal satisfaction of being able to help somebody in need,” Robinson said, “knowing you’re there when a lot of people would rather not deal with it. Every case is different. But it’s usually some kind of dating or domestic squabble. You wouldn’t expect someone like that to do this. Most cases are with people they know. I want to know that I made an impact with victims who were at their most vulnerable point and helped them get through it.” Jessica Vaughn-Jansen, an advocate coordinator at ARISE, knows what a valuable member of the team Robinson has been during her tenure there. “She’s been a consistent part of the team,” Vaughn-Jansen said. “She makes her presence known. She takes over 100 hours of on-call a month, which is four or five times more than most people takes. She’s doing an amazing thing. She gives up her weekends and takes calls in the middle of the night. She’s been on more cases than all of our advocates this month and last month. She’s been out there in a really significant way.”

Editor’s note: The following is an article in a series of local volunteers.

STAFF WRITER

[email protected]

With her 20 years serving the U.S. Air Force nearly at an end, Tech Sgt. Michelle Robinson already knows what she wants to do when...



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