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Today's Focus:

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - April 2009

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"A common theme I see, when the red flag goes up for me, is when someone is having a relationship problem. Seeing it start with a relationship problem compounded with another issue that occurs. It could be financial, medical, substance abuse or trouble with the law."

- Army Vice Chief Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli Chiarelli, speaking about recognizing the red flags in the different suicide cases

- Army vice chief addresses suicide rate across Army

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"Being a female in the military should never be used as an excuse to be less than absolutely all you can be. We're fellow Soldiers and we drive on."

- Staff Sergeant Dianne Smith, an intelligence analyst with 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion, recently returned to active duty after a 15-year break to teach her experienced leadership skills to new enlisted Soldiers

'There's nothing like putting on this uniform and being proud of it'

CALENDAR

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

April 2009:

- Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

- Month of the Military Child

April 22, 2009: Earth Day

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - April 2009

What is it?

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an opportunity to highlight the Army's ongoing commitment and initiatives to aggressively address sexual harassment and assault. Our focus continues to be prevention, caring for victims, taking appropriate action against Soldiers who commit offenses, and constant monitoring and refining of our Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program, and related strategies and policies.

Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual harassment and assault are contrary to Army values.

The Army initiated a key prevention campaign called "I.A.M. Strong," where the letters I, A, and M stand for Intervene-Act-Motivate. 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 fellow Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

The "I.A.M. Strong" campaign was launched in September 2008. The SHARP office is actively promoting the program with numerous initiatives.

Criminal Investigation Command and Office of the Judge Advocate General have taken steps to support victims and hold offenders accountable through:

• hiring national experts in prosecution and investigations;
• hiring and placing 30 special investigators and 15 prosecutors at Army installations with the highest occurrences of sexual assault;
• hiring 35 examiners at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory;
• funding specialized training with the National Advocacy Center for our prosecutors; and
• establishing a mobilized investigation training team to train all CID battalions.

Army G-1 distributed information kits to all battalions to provide tools to commanders. The SHARP Web site provides resources for Soldiers, Army civilians, family members and victims.

What will the Army do?

The Army will hold its second annual Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Summit April 6-10, in Crystal City, Va. The summit will launch phase two of the SHARP campaign: promote Army-wide conviction, launch local-level SHARP programs, and highlight means of preventing sexual assault.

Why is this important to the Army?

One sexual assault is one too many, and the most recent data indicates reported cases in the Army have been higher than the other services. Key to reversing this trend is launching of the I. A.M. Strong Campaign which is at the core of Army's overall goal and commitment to set and sustain an Army-wide command climate that is the national model for prevention of sexual assault and harassment.

Resources:

Army SHARP Web site

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