PHOENIX -- Over 100 members of the Arizona National Guard attended a Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, workshop at Papago Park Military Reservation here Aug. 20-21.

The Arizona National Guard trains members to model behaviors and attitudes that make a difference, and ensure a safe reporting and response system for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

"All members of the Guard -- Army, Air and civilians -- need to know that incidents like these have no place here," said Army Staff Sgt. Edgar Campbell, state victim advocate coordinator. "This issue affects job performance, mission capability and the overall morale of our entire organization. We want our Soldiers and Airmen to thrive and excel in their careers, which will directly impact our organization's end strength."

The two-day workshop focused on recognizing sexual harassment behaviors, the reporting procedures for incidents of sexual harassment and assault, and the fundamentals of the investigation process. Attendees were also given materials to take back to their workplaces to educate and train fellow service members.

Arizona Air National Guard Commander, Brig. Gen. Edward Maxwell's opening remarks stressed the importance of the training and the SHARP program.

"Victims of these types of acts need to know that the leadership of the Arizona National Guard will stand behind them and support them when they come forward," said Maxwell. "We want to maintain an organization of trust and mission readiness."

The program's mission is to reduce with an aim toward eliminating sexual offenses within the Army through cultural change, prevention, intervention, investigation, accountability, advocacy, response, assessment, and training to sustain the all-volunteer force.

"The purpose of this training is to provide understanding of the process and build trust in the system," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Angelita Manygoats, state sexual assault response coordinator.

"The Arizona National Guard has a zero tolerance policy related to sexual assault and sexual harassment. We want victims to trust that when they seek assistance we will be here for them."

Page last updated Mon August 25th, 2014 at 00:00