JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
A dimly-lit bar lounge and a dirty alley are probably not what you imagine when you think about scenario-based military training environments, but this April, those are some of the locations where the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade is conducting their Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, Gets Real training.
The training focuses on helping Soldiers recognize and respond to the red flags of a potential sexual assault in locations where interventions are often necessary.
To emphasize that sexual assault is preventable, the brigade’s SHARP training begins where sexual assault perpetrators may eventually end up.
Soldiers start at the detention facility and then walk to the courthouse for a legal briefing, two locations where it is too late to intervene. Soldiers will then receive bystander intervention training discussing why Soldiers don’t intervene and how we can change that.
Afterwards, Soldiers will head to a hotel and to the bar district to receive training about how sexual assault can be prevented in those locations, including a brief from a bar manager on what they’ve witnessed and how bar staff can help Soldiers intervene.
The SHARP Gets Real training culminates at the Veterans Memorial Park, where Soldiers, standing in front of the Vietnam War Memorial statue, are reminded of the Army values that they are committed to live by -- because that is where sexual assault prevention begins -- with the inner voice that tells them that something is wrong and with the personal courage that compels them to intervene.
If you or someone you know is in need of support after a sexual assault, call the Department of Defense 24/7 Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247 or the Joint Base San Antonio 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline at 210-808-SARC (7272).