Reinforcing Army's stand on sexual assault, harassment
July 8, 2011
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - Baumholder Army Community Service held its first Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention Summit June 14 at the Rheinlander Community Club.
Participants at the summit provided Lt. Col. Steve L. Fandrich, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team rear detachment commander, with numerous suggestions to help prevent sexual assault and harassment in the community as well as ways to improve Soldiersâ€™ personal safety.
The daylong summit facilitated candid discussions with the 40 selected individuals for the purpose of gathering information and ideas on how to improve support, education and training within the program to achieve the ultimate goal of zero occurrences of assault and harassment.
Lt. Col. Sam McAdoo, U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder commander, opened the summit with remarks and then introduced Rosalind Dennis, U.S. Army in Europe SHARP Program manager.
The individuals were split into five groups with facilitators from ACS that focused on the topics of drug and alcohol involvement, barracks and housing safety, bystander intervention, cultural change and differences, and SHARP support.
The groups were separated by gender toward the end of the day to discuss the roles women and men play in preventing sexual assaults and the stereotypes associated with each.
After the day of breakout group discussions, the Soldiers presented their ideas to Fandrich. Each group provided feedback regarding what was working within the program, what needed improvement as well as one to two marketing ideas to help get the vital information out in an effective manner.
â€śSexual assault and sexual harassment and second and third order affects, not only to the unit, but the victims, the families, and really, the Army,â€ť said Fandrich, after the groups made presentations and who said he gained a higher level of appreciation and understanding of the matter after attending a SHARP conference in Arlington, Va. in March.
Army officials said the occurrence has brought about much cause for concern as the Army is zero tolerance when it comes to matters of sexual assault. Leaders are hoping to change the outlook on this crime and promote a cultural shift.
â€śEvery time there is a sexual assault in a unit it breaks that unit down. Our goal obviously is to eliminate sexual assault,â€ť said Fandrich.
Fandrich said, â€śI applaud Colonel McAdoo in setting this up. I think we have a diverse crowd with a lot of great ideas and the team from ACS did a phenomenal job with this. They will definitely take a lot of stuff away from todayâ€™s conference.â€ť
The summit was initiated as a result an increase in sexual assault reported throughout the Army.
â€śHopefully in the future we will be able to do the right thing and live by our Army values because sexual assault and harassment do not fit anywhere into our values,â€ť said Fandrich.
Report occurrences of sexual assault or harassment to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline at (during duty hours) mil 485-8188 or civ (06783) 6-8188 or 0162-270-8390 or call the Military Police at mil 114 or civ (06783) 6-114.