Fort McCoy News Jan. 27, 2017

'17 SHARP training focuses on bystander intervention

Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, training for 2017 is focused on how individuals, as bystanders, can intervene in myriad ways.

Fort McCoy is using the Green Dot curriculum, which differs from other training methods because it acknowledges the barriers or reasons that stop people from intervening. There are many barriers that contribute to people not intervening. Some people are too shy to intervene. Sometimes a close friend or Family member is the person doing the harm and people do not want to risk ruining the relationship. In some situations, potential interveners are scared for their personal safety.

However, people can intervene even with those barriers in place by using the three D's: direct, delegate, or distract. People attending SHARP training in 2017 will learn to use these tactics in situations involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and other circumstances.

SHARP graphic

People on Fort McCoy do intervene when they see problematic situations arise. Jobi Spolum with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation shared her story of intervention.

"My daughter and I were driving in town, and as we came around the corner I noticed a man on the sidewalk, who seemed to be having some sort of seizure," Spolum said. "There was a woman standing with him. I immediately pulled over to see if I could offer any assistance.

"As I was pulling over, my daughter asked what I was doing; she seemed scared because she saw the man, too. I told her I needed to just check and see if they needed any help," Spolum said. "She asked me not to get out and help."

Spolum said she spoke to the woman and asked if they needed an ambulance. The woman told her they were waiting for one, and she would be fine alone with the man until it arrived. "When I got back in the car, I had a conversation with my daughter that although the situation was a little scary, not knowing what was going on with the man, it was the right thing to do to check on them," Spolum said. "She is only 9 years old, and she of course has the 'stranger danger' mentality, so we talked about when it's right and appropriate to talk to strangers."

If anyone has a bystander story he or she would like to share, call Jamie Cram or Sarah Sullivan at Army Community Service at 608-388-3505. Stories can be anonymous.

   (Article prepared by Army Community Service.)