By Tonya Townsell
Presidio of Monterey Garrison Public Affairs
MONTEREY, Calif. – Local military and academic representatives attended a two-day Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) workshop at the Presidio of Monterey March 31 and April 1 to exchange ideas regarding challenges faced by both military and academic institutions.
Guests from about 15 universities and a variety of local military agencies representing the Army, Air Force and Navy gathered for the event to share best practices. Some topics discussed included barriers to reporting; unique challenges within the Department of Defense and academia; fostering student activism; and building military and civilian community partnerships.
Military installations and universities both serve a similar population and face like challenges, explained Sgt. 1st Class Saffron Fletcher, the installation sexual assault response coordinator.
A big focus at the joint workshop was on a significant need to eliminate victim blaming and preconceived notions about reported suspects. This would require a culture shift, according to guest speaker Russell Strand, chief of the Family Advocacy Law Enforcement Training Division at the U.S. Army Military Police School.
The good news is there are various culture shifts regarding sexual harassment and assault happening now, according to Strand, and he believes others are just around the corner.
The workshop was the first of its kind with a plan to continue similar workshops in the future, according to Harry Green, the Training and Doctrine Command SHARP program manager.
The SHARP Program reinforces the Army’s commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault through awareness and prevention, training, victim advocacy, reporting and accountability. The program is a comprehensive integration and transformation of the Army’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program and Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) efforts.
Posted Date: 2 April 2015