By Dottie K. White
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — About 40 service members and civilians from various locations throughout the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command met at the command’s operational headquarters here for the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, summit Jan. 28-29.
The purpose of the two-day summit was to provide refresher training for SHARP personnel, both collateral and full time. It was open to all SHARP personnel from across USASMDC/ARSTRAT as well as those from Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base.
“During this event, we are taking a back-to-basics approach by reviewing the forms involved with taking a report, understanding the available services and resources available for victims, and being prepared to work with a victim,” said Dr. Julie Lindahl, SHARP program manager for SMDC.
Guest speakers provided information on various topics to include prosecution, criminal investigation, special victims counsel and available support services.
Sgt. 1st Class Nadia Carter, sexual assault response coordinator at 1st Space Brigade, said the summit was beneficial in more than one way.
“The SHARP summit was beneficial to me because it provided a forum to network and allowed me to get to know who my fellow SHARP members are here in the area,” Carter said. “It also provided an opportunity for me to reconnect with some of the key local community organizations and members who are big advocates in support of victims of sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence as well as their family members.”
Capt. Lisa Toney, Army aviator/space officer, says she is very passionate about being a victim’s advocate for the command because she is committed to helping others and believes in giving back to the next generation of Soldiers and civilians.
“There are so many SHARP and (victim’s advocate) personnel, from all services, out there doing great work by providing training and collaborating to make this program a success,” Toney said. “Reaching out to just one person can actually make a difference in so many ways. This summit has allowed me to gain so much more knowledge, which will help me be a better victim’s advocate.”
The summit concluded with a roleplaying scenario so personnel could better understand how to work with victims when necessary.
“Sexual violence is never acceptable,” Lindahl said. “This program is about prevention, advocacy and readiness. We are committed to providing compassionate care and protecting the rights and privacy of survivors.”