FORT BRAGG, N.C. – With the snip of a red ribbon, the Fort Bragg Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Fusion Directorate celebrated the opening of its new combined office, April 28.
“Through a single directorate, maximum efforts of our Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention professionals are able to keep victims better informed at each step of a very emotional and complex process,” said Kimberly Green, Fort Bragg Fusion director, SHARP program manager. “We are designed to make Soldiers, Family members, and civilians feel more comfortable in reporting allegations of SH/SA while prioritizing privacy and confidentiality.”
Fort Bragg is one of six installations piloting the new, redesigned Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Program’s “Fusion Directorate.” The Fusion Directorate is a victim-centered model aimed to address the issues and recommendations identified by the Fort Hood Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military. Each office opens up an additional way of reporting sexual assault and harassment – away from the victim’s immediate unit or command, and provides centrally coordinated medical, investigative, legal and support services in one location.
Chosen because of Fort Bragg’s large population and geographical location, the pilot program will assess how successful the new approach to victim-centered care is through a one-year analysis of reporting data and survey tools to measure progress of highlighted issues in the FHIRC reports.
“The directorate will serve as the central point of support that synchronizes medical, investigative, legal and support services independent of a victim's immediate command,” said Green. “In turn, this will increase transparency of the sexual assault adjudication process. The Fusion Directorate provides a Sexual Assault Resource Center, a Program Support Branch, a Response Branch, and a Training Branch. The Fort Bragg office will provide a space for Criminal Investigation Division, and a swing space for medical, legal and other support elements.”
The timing of the new center’s opening aligns with Department of Defense’s focus on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and this year’s theme is “Prevention starts with you.” The Army reinforces the role and responsibility of every member of the Army Team to prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliation. After all, People are the Army’s greatest strength; working together fosters an Army culture built on trust and support.
“Located in the Soldier Support Center, we are co-located with Family Advocacy Program, Special Victims’ Counsel, and Military Personnel Division which assists us with a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ approach,” explained Green. “With a traumatic incident such as SH/SA, we sometimes lose supporting a victim if we direct them to another building for care. It is very instrumental in providing the needed victim/survivor care within one facility.”
For more information, go to www.armyresilience.army.mil/sharp.