National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month
March 28, 2010
<b>National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month </b>
<b>What is it' </b>
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an opportunity for the Army to re-emphasize our ongoing commitment to eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the Army, and to highlight ongoing initiatives to aggressively address these issues. The focus is on prevention, caring for victims, taking appropriate action against Soldiers who commit these offenses, and constant monitoring and refining of our Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program.
Soldiers, civilians, and family members are encouraged to take part in Sexual Assault Awareness Month observance activities, and to re-dedicate efforts toward preventing sexual assault and creating a positive climate that includes a culture of intervention.
<b>What has the Army done' </b>
Most recently, on March 1, 2010, the Army launched a six-month pilot program that gives adult civilian beneficiaries of the military health-care system in U.S. Army Europe the opportunity to file a restricted report regarding a sexual assault. As opposed to an unrestricted report, a restricted report allows victims to report incidents of sexual assault and seek medical and psychological care without automatically triggering a criminal investigation.
Ongoing initiatives include the "I. A.M. Strong" campaign, where the letters I, A, and M stand for <i>Intervene, Act, Motivate</i>. 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 fellow Soldiers.
<b>What will the Army do' </b>
Today is the first day of the Army's third annual Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Summit, March 29 through April 1, 2010, in Crystal City, Va. The conference will continue to build on Phase II of the SHARP campaign: promote Army-wide conviction. This year's theme is "Hurts one. Affects all... Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty." The annual summit draws leaders from throughout the Army and government sector. It is not merely about disseminating information, but includes working groups aimed at further refining the SHARP program and enhancing its overall effectiveness.
<b>Why is this important to the Army' </b>
Sexual harassment and assault are contrary to Army values. It degrades mission readiness by devastating the Army's ability to work effectively as a team.
One sexual assault is one too many.
<a href="http://www.preventsexualassault.army.mil" target="_blank"> Army SHARP Web site</a>
<a href="http://www.twitter.com/USArmyOnTheGo " target="_blank"> Follow the SHARP conference on Twitter </a>