JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (May 11, 2022) – Soldiers with the 42nd Military Police Brigade participated in the newly-established Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Protection Liaison Team training, led by two instructors over the course of three days.
“SHARP is an important topic to discuss,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Williams, an instructor and sexual assault response coordinator for the 42nd Military Police Brigade. “The SHARP Protection Liaison Team training will provide a vital link between Soldiers and appropriate resources.”
Upon completion of the course, students will serve as liaisons between victims of sexual assault and SHARP representatives. These Protectors became experts on bystander intervention and what resources are available to victims of sexual harassment and assault, participating in discussions about the relationship between SHARP and the Army values.
“These Soldiers were hand-selected for their trustworthiness, approachability, integrity, compassion and empathy for others,” said Tammi Stretch, another instructor and victim advocate for the 42nd Military Police Brigade. “Fellow Soldiers could approach them with discussions relatively sensitive in nature, so their job will be pointing these individuals in the right direction.”
Students role-played various scenarios that could arise by alternating between the character of victim and liaison.
“Make sure you are actively listening,” said Williams. “It’s okay not to know the answer. These discussions are already tough, so make sure you are always providing your undivided attention.”
As Protector Liaison Team members, these Soldiers will provide a pathway for their peers who may otherwise feel uncomfortable or unsure about reporting SHARP-related incidents. The goal is to see decreased rate of sexual assault with an enhanced sense of freedom and empowerment for Soldiers, so they feel comfortable and safe enough to make a report.
“No matter what, always remember the platinum rule,” said Stretch. “Treat people the way they want to be treated, because no one deserves to be a victim.”
SHARP was established to enhance Army readiness through the prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliatory behaviors while providing comprehensive response capabilities. The program is constantly evolving to make the Army a safer place for all Soldiers and to create a more cohesive team.