|Army Community Service (ACS) Sexual Harassment/Assault
Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program training to meet annual training
requirements for current and new (military) unit victim advocates was
held March 22-26 at Fort McCoy.
A number of area professionals addressed the group during the 40-hour
workshop to present both military and civilian aspects of the issue,
said Elizabeth Carmichael, Fort McCoy SHARP ACS Victim Advocate
Coordinator. More than 100 people attended the workshop.
Barbara Mashak, a licensed
professional counselor for the Scenic Bluffs Community Health
Center of Cashton, Wis. addresses a Sexual Harassment/Assault
Response Prevention Program workshop for military unit victim
advocates at the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy.
Photo by Rob Schuette
“It’s also important for them (unit victim advocates) to know what
resources are available in the civilian community to provide assistance
and support to the individuals and program,” Carmichael said.
New this year was a visit by comedian/educator Bernie McGrenahan. The
first part of his presentation was a comedy routine, called the hook, to
connect with the audience and prepare them for the serious aspect of the
subject matter. Part two of the presentation was the training and
prevention message, called the “Happy Hour.” During that 30-minute
segment McGrenahan covered a wide variety of topics, including the No. 1
date-rape drug in America.
McGrenahan drew heavily on his own experiences of living a life of
high-risk and excessive alcohol consumption. The results were
unacceptable alcohol-related sexual behavior, three
driving-under-the-influence arrests, a six-month jail incarceration and
his 19-year-old brother’s alcohol- and drug-related suicide.
Now 21 years past the time he experienced alcohol substance abuse
firsthand, McGrenahan uses his “Happy Hour” program to help empower and
inspire troops to avoid destructive and high-risk behaviors. The I. A.M.
(intervene, act, motivate) Strong Army program message tells the troops
that 95 percent of sexual assault cases involve alcohol. He also goes
over the definition of consent and reducing risks of being assaulted
through drugs added to drinks.
The talk encourages victims to seek counseling, differentiates between
restricted and unrestricted reporting and domestic violence/abuse.
The Army Posture Statement defines the SHARP Program as promoting “a
climate that does not tolerate sexual assault, sexual harassment or
sexually offensive language or gestures, while providing sensitive care
and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and
accountability for offenders.”
The program is a commander’s responsibility. Commanders are directed to
promote a change in organizational culture and command climate through
the I. A.M. Strong campaign that reinforces the Army’s Core Values,
Warrior Creed and standards of conduct.
For more information about the SHARP Program in the Fort McCoy
community, call the Fort McCoy ACS Victim Advocate coordinator at
608-388-8951 or the ACS Family Advocacy Program manager at 608-388-2412
or visit the Web site
http://www.mccoymwr.com/ACS/Sexual%20Assault.htm. The Web site
http://www.militaryonesource.com also has valuable information about
To report sexual assaults in the Fort McCoy community, call the 24/7
hotline at 608-388-5000 (reachable from installation telephones by
dialing 2-5000) or 608-487-0701 for assistance.