Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, spoke with students from the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program’s (SHARP) Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Victim Advocate (SARC/VA) Course at the SHARP Academy at Fort Leavenworth.
“This problem of sexual assault and sexual harassment is absolutely an insider threat to our military,” Brown said. “Trust is the most important thing in our Army, and this tears at the very fabric of our Army team and we must do everything we can to eliminate this threat and rebuild trust.”
The CAC Commander thanked the 32 member of the class for role that they will play in caring for the victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment, but stressed the importance of not just being reactive to incidents, but of also identifying trends that will help in the prevention of these acts.
Some of the areas keyed on by Lt. Gen. Brown included campaigns to mitigate the role that alcohol consumption plays in SHARP incidents, a better focus on newcomer sponsorship during the first several weeks in a new assignment, and a bystander education program.
“If you just react to crime, you are never going to get in front of it,” Brown said. “But when you have the right people empowered to look at trends and take action, you have more of a chance to get in front of it.”
The students of the SARC/VA represent only the second class to be conducted since the Army SHARP Academy stood up at the Fort Leavenworth location.