Jackson Katz, who has prepared sexual assault awareness programs for the National Football League, brought a program to Fort Riley geared toward changing the way sexual harassment prevention is looked at by men.
Soldiers at Riley Conference Center April 16 heard Katz why the program is focused toward men.
"We need more men," Katz said, "who, instead of walking away, or saying 'I don't abuse my girlfriend so it's not my problem,' are willing to say 'it is my problem, it's all my problem, and I have a role to play as a friend, a battle buddy, a family member.' We need more men who are willing to say that, and start changing the conversation among men, as well as among and between women, and among and between men and women."
Katz's program talks about ten things men can do to prevent gender violence. One of the ten things includes seeking help if you or anyone you know are being 'emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, seek help now.'
Soldiers should also report any kind of sexual abuse to a sexual response coordinator and victim advocate.
Lt. Col. Andrew Turner, the 1st infantry Division's senior equal opportunity and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention advisor, said within each one of the brigades is assigned a sexual response coordinator and a victim advocate. Lt. Col. Turner said soldiers within the division typically go through one or two trainings per quarter every three months.
"It really is to talk about prevention strategies," said Lt. Col. Turner. "How to not be a bystander when something like this does happen and also to inform them on the processes and services that the SHARP program provides."
Kathleen Brussard, victim advocate for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, said there are two ways of reporting sexual assault. The military offers either an unrestricted report of sexual assault or a restricted report. A restricted report includes a victim advocate who can keep information confidential.
"So it's restricted because there is no information kept of yourself as the reporter," Brussard said. "It still alerts the leadership on the installation that something has occurred, so we can track trends or numbers and know what's going on at Fort Riley."
However, there is no investigation initiated with a restricted report. With a restricted report, the victim still gets access to resources, including meeting with legal if they would like to take legal action. The victim also has access to all of the medical and behavioral care.
Brussard said an unrestricted report requires that the victim be comfortable with disclosing all of the information for an investigation.
"Because they're able to provide information and because they give their personal information, then their command can take action and show support for them," said Brussard. "So if that person needs to be moved from the unit to be safer, then that command team can help remove that person from the unit and place them somewhere else."
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, contact the Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention program at (785) 307-9338, or visit: www.riley.army.mil/sexualharassmentassaultresponseandprevention for more information.