FORT STEWART, Ga. - It is a crime and the aftereffects upon the victim and the unit can be profound, taking many Soldiers out of the fight when it occurs. And it’s something that will not be tolerated.

Measures to increase sexual assault awareness and sustain momentum for prevention and increased reporting brought senior Marne leaders together for a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training seminar at Club Stewart, June 27, hosted by the 3rd Infantry Division SHARP team.

“Senior leaders need to understand what our challenges are in terms of defeating this problem and eliminating sexual harassment and sexual assault from our Army,” said Mr. Alvin Newman, a SHARP Mobile Team Trainer based in Reston, Va. “It’s important we keep our Soldiers safe.”

Although not a bad thing, as leaders seek to sustain efforts to decrease assaults and increase reporting, the number of victims reporting is also expected to temporarily increase.

“The goal is to create a climate that minimizes incidents and encourages victims to report incidents,” said Newman. “Although the propensity to report is expected to increase, over time the number of assaults is expected to decrease due to increased cultural change.”

Sexual assault knows no boundaries when it comes to specific military branches, thus the reason why the Department of Defense has taken a comprehensive approach to prevent and deal with sexual assault.

“The department’s position on sexual assault is clear: one sexual assault is one too many. Sexual assault has absolutely no place in today’s armed forces. We are firmly committed to doing our best to ensure that those who have stepped forward to protect our country are themselves protected within the ranks,” said Under Secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness Dr. Clifford L. Stanley.

Eradicating sexual assault is a proactive commitment commencing at the highest level however, responsibility remains at all levels.

“There are no bystanders; we all have a role in this,” said 1st Sgt. Ralph Algiere, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.

Page last updated Thu June 30th, 2011 at 00:00