By Jose E. Rodriguez and Brenda Clark, AMEDDC&SFebruary 23, 2017
At the most recent U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School NCO Professional Development MAJ Felicia Williams, HSC, AMEDDC&S Victim Advocate, hosted a panel from AMEDDC&S and JBSA to discuss the Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program. Titled "Let's Talk, A Conversation with Leaders" the panel was an opportunity for NCOs to talk with Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC), Victim Advocates (VA), JBSA Special Victims Counselor, and Criminal Investigation Division.
Guest speaker Command Sergeant Major Aaron Stone, 187th Medical Battalion CSM, shared his personal story of sexual assault by a teacher. For seventeen years, Stone lived with the abuse, keeping it hidden from those around him. While driving one day the memory of the incident flooded Stone and he decided to report the abuse. Because of his report, Stone's abuser was later convicted for the sexual assault and sentenced to prison. Stone's personal story visibly moved his fellow Soldiers, and afterwards many thanked him for the courage to speak about his personal account.
The mission of the Army SHARP program is to reduce with an aim toward eliminating sexual assault within the Army through cultural change, prevention, intervention, investigation, accountability, advocacy/response, assessment, and training to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.
SARCs and VAs receive training at the Army SHARP Academy at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and are credentialed through the DOD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program. SARCs and VAs assist Soldiers and their adult Family members and Department of the Army Civilians with sexual assault reports, providing a 24/7 response capability. These professionals also support commanders with prevention, training, and awareness efforts.
If you, or anyone you know, is the victim of sexual assault report it. Contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Victim Advocate, or call the Army SHARP Helpline at 1-800-267-9964.