JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD Soldiers 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, held a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention stand-down day April 29 that focused on preventing sexual harassment and assault.
A stand-down day is basically when were going to stop the mission and focus on the SHARP program for that entire day, said Sgt. 1st Class David Peppler, a SHARP victim advocate for 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. It will bring back the Soldiers grasp of this is a real important issue in the Army; this is something we can take care of; we dont have to worry about whats going on here with our job, we can focus on SHARP.
SHARP has continued to be a hot-button issue in the U.S. Army in recent years.
This SHARP stand-down day was part of the larger Sexual Assault Awareness Month that is recognized by the Army annually in April.
We have training throughout the month across the installation, said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Ventura, the Arrowhead Brigade senior victim advocate.
This training was scenario-based and was designed to help service members respond appropriately if they see the precursors of sexual harassment or assault occurring.
Ventura said that this year they decided to try something a little different in order to convey the importance of SHARP.
We (normally) started off this training with a three-hour long power point presentation, he said.
Ventura said that wasnt catching the attention of a lot of Soldiers, so they redesigned the curriculum and inserted movies and spots that the highlighted different ways to deal with sexual harassment and assault.
Were trying build this culture change to where its like muscle memory, Ventura said. Training is designed to empower Soldiers to intervene if someone is being sexually harassed. Lets stop it here before it becomes something more.
More information about the Armys SHARP program is available at http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/index.cfm. Additional information can found at the Department of Defense Safe Helpline Sexual Assault Support website, located at http://www.safehelpline.org//