By Stephen P. Kretsinger Sr., PQC contractor with the U.S. Army Combined Arms CenterDecember 15, 2015
Fort Leavenworth has historically led in innovation and new ideas. With the opening of a new center, the installation's command team hopes to provide an example to similarly sized Army installations to follow.
The Fort Leavenworth Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) Team held an open house for the SHARP Resource Center Monday. The center is located in Root Hall (Building 197) at 632 McClellan on Fort Leavenworth. This center was designed based on the first SHARP Resource Center --which is located at Fort Lewis -- but with smaller installations in mind.
"The original SHARP Resource Center at Fort Lewis was designed with a large population of Soldiers and Civilians in mind," said Laurie Barone, SHARP program manager for the U.S. army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. "We are hoping other smaller installations will look to what we have done here and use us as a prototype for their own efforts."
The SHARP Resource Center will serve as a "one-stop shop" designed to coordinate and support all SHARP Program services and personnel working on the installation. The center will serve as a safe place for victims of sexual harassment and assault to meet with all personnel needed for advocacy, investigative and legal matters.
"People should always try to solve issues within the chain of command, but some situations require a different approach," said Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, who was in attendance at the event. "Folks need a place to go where their needs are understood and taken seriously. The Fort Leavenworth SHARP Resource Center is that place."
The Fort Leavenworth SHARP Resource Center provides the following services:
• Victim advocacy
• Restricted and unrestricted sexual assault reporting
• Informal and formal sexual harassment reporting
• Special Victims' Counsel
• Safety planning
• Accompaniment to medical appointments and legal or court proceedings
• Case management and tracking
• Resources and referrals to military or civilian programs
• Referrals to the Family Advocacy Program (FAP), Inspector General (IG), Equal Opportunity (EO), Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO), Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) on- post resources
• Coordination of medical services
• On-site CID interviews
• Trial readiness conferences
• Liaison with command and other agencies
• Education and training
• Communications and outreach
Brown emphasized that sexual harassment and assault were top Army issues that needed not just response, but prevention.
"We need to get to the left of this issue," Brown said. "We are a team, and a Solider or Civilian cannot do their job effectively and efficiently if they can't trust their team. And we need everyone to get involved if we are going to make a difference -- the bottom line: it's not ratting on your buddies; it's taking care of the team."
For more information on the Fort Leavenworth Resource Center, call 913-684-2810 or 913-684-2818 during duty hours. To report a SHARP case 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call the Fort Leavenworth Hotline at 913-683-1443, or the Department of Defense helpline at 877-995-5247.