ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention professionals met for training as a part of a renewed initiative to unify RIA's victim advocacy program, Jan. 17.

The purpose of the training was to ensure all RIA SHARP professionals have the best information and local relationships they need for an effective program. They learned about local advocacy assistance and resources they can provide to each other and those seeking counsel.

"We walked them through the process of how to receive a report of sexual assault," Meghan McAndrew, RIA Installation SHARP program manager, said. "We also reviewed the resources they could utilize while providing advocacy services."

Topics covered in the training included:

• The roles and responsibilities of SHARP personnel
• Victim advocacy and safety protocol
• Local community resources, such as referrals to other partners and services
• Notification protocol for law enforcement and others who need to know
• Confidentiality rules and guidelines
• Regulations including Army Regulation 600-20, which covers sexual harassment and assault

The training concluded with several mock drills for the attendees to hone their advocacy skills. These scenarios were specific to RIA and challenged advocates to respond to complex situations.

The team also incorporated a visit to Family Resources in Moline, Illinois, to discuss additional community resources and to foster networking relationships with off-post survivor assistance organizations.

Family Resources is a social service organization that provides counseling, advocacy and a range of other services for survivors of abuse, human trafficking, and violence in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.

"This training is one of many networking opportunities provided throughout the year to ensure all RIA SHARP professionals are knowledgeable and skilled to provide crucial victim advocacy assistance to RIA personnel," said McAndrew. "The RIA SHARP team works as a cohesive team to ensure 24/7 SHARP support is provided to all RIA personnel."

Participants included SHARP professionals from the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, the Joint Munitions Command, the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, the U.S. Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, the U.S. Army Garrison RIA, and First Army.

McAndrew is also the program manager of the SHARP program at ASC. ASC is the senior command at RIA.

Fifteen of RIA's 16 SHARP professionals attended the training. McAndrew said that other training and coordination events are scheduled in the coming months.

For SHARP-related concerns, call the RIA 24/7 SHARP Hotline at (309) 229-8412.