By Mr. Mike Bowers (Leonard Wood)April 9, 2015
Fort Leonard Wood is hosting a slate of activities to raise awareness and educate on the prevention of sexual violence in observance of April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
A two-part SHARP Summit in Abrams Theater and Lincoln Hall Auditorium and Expo in Nutter Field House, both on April 29, are the signature events for the month.
Those activities and others are aimed at highlighting this year's Department of Defense theme of "Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part."
"The main message, aside from sexual assault and sexual harassment awareness, are intervention strategies and overall culture change," said Sgt. Maj. Kimberly McGhaney-Reed, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence SHARP program manager.
"We want to reduce the capability of offenders, as much as possible, through empowering Soldiers and leaders with pertinent information and methods of recognizing potential offender and victim behaviors. The Army's goal is to totally eliminate SHARP offenses from our ranks, one person at a time, one preventive measure at a time through education, training, building trust and modeling professional behaviors," she said.
Runners and walkers can show their support by participating in the 5k Run for Fitness and Awareness slated Saturday. The run starts at 8 a.m. at the Davidson Fitness Center with pre-race stretching at 7:45 a.m. A children's half-miler is scheduled at 9 a.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Baby strollers are welcome and also dogs on leashes are permitted. SHARP information tables will be available.
Booths will highlight SHARP resources from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Exchange Mini Mall, sponsored by the 14th Military Police Brigade, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 23 in the Exchange, sponsored by the 3rd Chemical Brigade.
Attendees of the Expo, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Nutter Field House, can view and obtain information from the Behavioral Health Clinic, Army Substance Abuse Program, Chaplains Office, Good Samaritan of the Ozarks, the Russell House, Kids Harbor and the Genesis House.
The SHARP summit features a morning and afternoon session April 29, with the first segment from 7:30 to 11:15 am. in Abrams Theater. The intended audience includes company command teams and above, sexual assault response coordinators and victims' advocates, GS-12 employees and above and captains career and senior leader course students.
Battalion and command teams, SARCs and VAs, GS-13 and above are invited to the afternoon portion of the summit that takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Lincoln Hall Auditorium. Both events are open for everyone to attend, depending on the seating availability. Plans are to simultaneously broadcast the summit on the post TV Channel 59.
Although not an event, Fort Leonard Wood brigade commanders and below will have the option to authorize a day for Soldiers to wear denim jeans during the month. Denim Day is an annual campaign to help raise awareness about sexual assault and rape.
The movement began after a 45-year-old driving instructor in Italy raped an 18-year-old woman in 1998.
The driving instructor was convicted of rape and sentenced. The Italian Supreme Court, however, overturned the ruling, because the pants worn by the woman were too tight.
It determined that she must have helped her attacker remove her jeans, making the act consensual and not rape.
The Italian Supreme Court chief judge stated in the decision that "because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex," according to Peace Over Violence, an organizer of Denim Day.
The women of the Italian legislature protested by wearing jeans. In 1999, California became the first state to declare a Denim Day in honor of victims of sexual assault.
Activities are aimed at showcasing agencies and programs that can assist in dealing with sexual harassment complaints and aid victims of sexual assault, according to the Fort Leonard Wood SHARP office.