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Posted: May 12, 2017 11:35 a.m.
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Getting tools to help

SHARP Support

Photo by Staff Sgt. Kellen Stuart/

The SHARP Teams who attended the 2017 SHARP Summit at Hunter Army Airfield pose for a picture at the end of the summit. The teams are, often times, the first-place Soldiers or their Family Members look toward for reporting sexual assault or sexual harassment.

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During the last week in April, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade along with 3rd Military Police Group (Criminal Investigation Division) hosted a Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Summit at Hunter Army Airfield.

The SHARP Summit provided Victim Advocates and Sexual Assault Response Coordinators on Hunter with tools to help in case a Soldier is in need.

“Continuing to change the culture to eliminate sexual violence and sexual harassment in the Army is our top priority,” said Col. Joseph Decosta, 3rd Military Police Group commander. “As victim advocates, you have taken the first step to assisting the Army in meeting its goal of eliminating sexual violence and sexual harassment.”

The summit is an extension of 3rd CAB’s “Operation United in Trust,” an initiative to get sexual assault and sexual harassment O.U.T. of the unit and in turn out of the Army.

“The SHARP Summit will serve as a platform for reflection and introduction to topics that directly and indirectly affect victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment, as they navigate through the healing process,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lakeysha Nickerson, 3rd CAB sexual assault response coordinator. “A goal of the SHARP Summit is to create a renewed narrative about sexual violence and harassment through candid, informed and mature discussions and trainings.”

The week-long summit involved victim advocates, SARCs and DoD civilian personnel who help Soldiers or their family members through the process if they become victims.

Some of the discussions included: diversity, ethics, suicide and sexual assault, drugs and alcohol incidents related to sexual assault, transgender military personnel, domestic violence, mental health after an assault, trauma informed care, cyber stalking, human trafficking, and Nurse Examiner roles.

Kelly Taylor, a registered nurse and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was one of the discussion leaders.

“Do you have stress with a threat or without a threat,” she asked. “When there is no threat, we can control what we are focusing on. When there is a threat, focus goes to immediate survival and coping with an event.”

Taylor spoke about the vulnerabilities in investigations, where a small detail can have the biggest impact. She described an investigation where the victim could only remember a water bottle under the bed, which eventually linked the suspect to the crime.

Now, an important question she asks is: “what is the one detail that you can’t forget?”

SHARP teams at the unit are, most times, the first place that victims of sexual violence and sexual assault turn to and they need to understand what actions to take, said Nickerson.

“Operation United in Trust falls in line with the Sergeant Major of the Army’s ‘Not in my Squad’ plan because people shouldn’t be innocent bystanders,” she added. “We’re making sure that people have the right tools as SHARP reps or SARCs or victim advocates at the company and battalion level so they know what to do when they see it or what it looks like.”


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