Army launches sexual assault prevention summit

| April 9, 2010 | 0 Comments
Army Public Affairs
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — As part of the Army’s ongoing commitment to address the problem of sexual harassment/sexual assault and eliminate them from its ranks, the Army held its third Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Prevention Summit in Arlington, Va., March 29-April 1. 

This summit served as the launch event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Army leaders at the brigade and battalion level, interested Congressional representatives and staffers, subject-matter experts from the civil sector and sexual harassment/assault prevention and response proponents, gathered to discuss progress in implementing the I. A.M. Strong Campaign (Intervene, Act, Motivate). 

 

This campaign is at the core of the Army strategy to stamp out sexual harassment and assault, Army officials said.

“We’re launching an updated training program at the summit that combines prevention of sexual harassment training with sexual assault prevention training,” said Carolyn Collins, program manager of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP program. “This brings unity of effort to what was once training and awareness programs once managed in multiple organizations.”

The theme for this year’s summit, “Hurts one. Affects all … Preventing sexual assault is everyone’s duty,” emphasized the importance of prevention and tied it to one of the Army’s core values — duty.

The summit continued Phase II of the campaign by focusing efforts on brigade and battalion leaders and their SHARP proponents. 

The goal for this summit was to partner with national counterparts to build a foundation where Army community members — leaders, Soldiers, civilians and family members — take ownership of their individual and collective roles in preventing sexual harassment and the crime of sexual assault, Collins said.

The campaign strategy consists of four integrated phases and has policy, procedure, training and assessment components, which will continue through 2014 and beyond.

The campaign kicked off its first phase, leadership commitment, at a prevention summit in September 2008. 

The program consists of four phases to be carried out Army-wide over a five-year period. The campaign features Soldiers as influential role models and provides peer-to-peer messages outlining the Army’s intent for every Soldier to intervene to protect their comrades.

“During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it’s important to bring visibility to the Army’s ‘I. A.M Strong’ program, and for leaders and trainers at all levels to conduct training and emphasize the support available to victims,” said Collins. 

To facilitate battalion-level programs in 2009, Department of the Army G-1 distributed kits containing “I. A.M. Strong” materials to commanders down to battalion level, and sponsored command and community events to bring awareness to the need for prevention and to reduce the stigma for reporting this crime. 

These efforts included sponsoring the Army Soldier Show, the Army Concert Series and partnering with the BOSS program in order to more effectively reach the target audience of young Soldiers.

Army G-1 has an ongoing Army-wide tour of the popular production known as “Sex Signals,” which has been shown more than 600 times, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

“The Army is currently scheduling the ‘Sex Signals Tour’ to assist commands,” said  Collins. “This 90-minute program uses skits and real-life scenarios to educate Soldiers about issues such as rape and sexual assault.”

Additionally, Criminal Investigation Command and the Office of the Judge Advocate General have taken steps to support victims and hold offenders accountable. These include:

•hiring national experts in prosecution and investigations;

•hiring and placing 30 special investigators and 15 prosecutors at Army installations with the highest occurrences of sexual assault;

•hiring 35 examiners at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory;

•funding specialized training with the National Advocacy Center for Army prosecutors; and

•establishing a mobilized investigation training team to train all CID battalions.

“The Army’s focus continues to be prevention, caring for victims, taking appropriate action against Soldiers who commit these offenses,” Collins said.

For more information, visit http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/.

What’s Coming Up

Child Abuse Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Month Information Table
•April 12, 13, 14 and 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Tripler Army Medical Center
•April 14, 22, 30, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Schofield Barracks PX

Denim Fridays
•April 9, 16, 23, 30
•Take a stand against rape. See http://supportdenimday.com for more details.

Unit Victim Advocate Self-Care Session 
•April 14, 8-10 a.m., Yano Education Center, Room 213

Child Abuse Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Month Food Drive 
•April 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Fort Shafter PXMarket

Behind Closed Doors:  What’s In Your Closet?
•April. 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m., Sgt. Smith Theater
•View Oscar-nominated film “Precious,” followed by a 15-minute presentation 

Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program Unit Victim Advocate Meet and Greet 
•April 20, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Kalakaua Community Center

Category: Army News Service, News

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