Shellie Severa is the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate for the 354th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force. In that position, she assists survivors of sexual assault with reporting and referral services, assists in the management of the annual base program budget, and supervises volunteer victim advocates. In 2017, her work was recognized when Ms. Severa was named the top SAPR Victim Advocate of the Air Force. The award honors unique initiatives that have significantly increased the readiness and capability of the Eielson program to reach victims of sexual assault.
As a longstanding member of the Tanana Valley Chiefs Association, Ms. Severa also offers assistance to sexual assault victims in remote villages of Alaska. In that role, she works to bring resources to these isolated victims and help get them to Fairbanks for medical forensic examinations and counseling services. Many of these victims have not had positive experiences with professionals who are not local to their area, but Ms. Severa has worked to bridge this gap and earn their trust as a respected member of the sexual assault prevention and response team.
Ms. Severa served honorably in the Air Force as a Flight Medic assigned to the Flight Surgeon’s office, and she has been a Veteran Service Representative for over seven years. Prior to her current position, she was the Military Liaison Officer to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor’s office where she was instrumental in developing collaborative partnerships between Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright, and leaders from the surrounding community.
She is also a retired police dog trainer/handler, with over 34 years of experience, 20 of which were as a Master Police Dog Trainer. Drawing from this experience, Ms. Severa developed and coordinated the SAPR K9 pilot program. She is currently the handler of K9 Tessa for the SAPR office at Eielson Air Force Base, the first K-9 in the SAPR program across the Air Force.