SHARP: Expert seeks to help eliminate sexual assault
Russell Strand

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 2, 2014) -- While zero tolerance is the goal, the Army admits it still has work to do to combat sexual assault and harassment.

So, to educate its Soldiers and staff members with the best resources possible, Fort Rucker invited Russell Strand to speak to command teams, Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention personnel and other first responders during a seminar May 7 at Wings Chapel.

He will discuss achieving culture change to eliminate sexual assault, according to Sgt. 1st Class Lance Osborne, Fort Rucker SHARP program manager.

As a DOD SME in the areas of spouse and child abuse, critical incident peer support, and sexual violence, and as the chief of the U.S. Army Military Police School behavioral sciences education and training division, he has much to expose on the topic.

According to seminar details, sex offenders thrive in a rape-prone, rape myth-accepting culture. The seminar will explore many societal myths and biases that enable sex offenders to operate successfully without suspicion and detection.

Strand will also discuss how they deceive, why they do what they do, and how people can peer through the fog and identify them.

Participants will be presented with up-to-date research, case studies and strategies on understanding sex offenders from a criminal justice viewpoint.

The session will inform attendees on typical offender typologies, how offenders groom and manipulate victims, coworkers, friends, relatives, neighbors and even professionals.

"Sexual assault victims don't witness sexual assault, they experience it, and the impact can be significant," said Strand. "We will explore what we now know about the neuroscience of sexual trauma and suggest better response modalities."

Strand expects attendees, upon completion of the seminar, to be able to identify rape myths that enable sex offenders to thrive, understand the impact and neuroscience of sexual assault, and how to define culture change and implement actions to create positive change.

"We will build on education, theories, promising best practices, and research to actively and intentionally change our culture to reduce -- with a vision to eliminate -- sexual assault in our society," he said.

Strand has an extensive resume that he has built in the last 40 years.

According to Strand's biography, he has established, developed, produced and conducted the U.S. Army Sexual Assault Investigations, Domestic Violence Intervention Training, Sexual Assault Investigations and Child Abuse Prevention and Investigation Techniques courses, and supervised the development of the Critical Incident Peer Support course.

He has specialized expertise, experience and training in the area of domestic violence intervention, critical incident peer support, sexual assault, trafficking in persons and child abuse investigations.

He has also assisted in the development and implementation of DOD training standards, programs of instruction and lesson plans.

He is a member of the Defense Family Advocacy Command Assistance Team and Department of the Army Fatality Review Board. He also developed the DOD Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement First Responders and Investigators training modules.

He continues to conduct interviews with child and adult victims of physical and sexual abuse, and provides investigative and consultation support in ongoing sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse investigations, interventions, and military and civilian criminal trials.

Recently, he developed a new interview technique known as the Forensic Physiological Trauma Interview.

In 2012, he received the End Violence Against Women International Visionary Award in recognition of his impact, vision and leadership in ending violence against women around the world.

Page last updated Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 16:16