Director addresses the state of Army SHARP program

Today’s blog post is from Dr. Christine Altendorf, director, U.S. Army Sexual Harassment Assault Reponse Prevention (SHARP) Program.Dr. Christine Altendorf, director, Army Sexaul Harassment Assault Response Prevention Program

I have now been on board for about three months as the Director of the Army Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program, and I’m quite impressed with the initiatives that the Army is putting forward related to SHARP. My plan is to send you an informal update once a month to keep you posted on activities that we are working on and to keep the lines of communication open.

As you know, there are five Lines of Effort (LOE) for the Army SHARP Program – Prevention, Investigation, Accountability, Advocacy and Assessment. As I share our monthly initiatives with you, I will align them with the LOEs so that we stay synched and focused.

Recently, a note to general officers was distributed discussing the Army directive that charges leaders with commitment to eliminating sexual harassment and assault and to fostering climates of dignity and respect.  OERS and NCOERS will include goals and assessment of how Officers and NCOs are meeting this commitment.  This is a good response to the SecDef’s tasker to hold officers and NCOs accountable for command climates.

SHARP GraphicAs we get our hands around SHARP data (survey and reporting), we will be using the Army Research Institute to gather verbal survey information by conducting over 200 focus groups and individual interviews at various Army installations from mid October through mid-Dec (dates dependent upon shutdown/furlough).  We will use this data to help us shape our policy and programs. We have also switched to using the Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID) to input our sexual assault data so that we are complying with legislation,but also allowing consistency across services.  Our data team is working closely with DoD to eventually allow the Commands to pull data for your use. We are not there yet, but hope to be over the next several months.  The quality of the data input into DSAID is of utmost importance so that our output is accurate and useful.

Another initiative we are moving forward with is the development of a SHARP Schoolhouse.  Our short-term goal is to have a pilot course (6-7 weeks long) in January for select full time trainers, SARCs, VAs and PMs with the ultimate objective of a permanent schoolhouse.  This was driven by feedback from the field at the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno‘s panel and various other forums of the need to professionalize SHARP personnel in order to provide more effective and responsive services to the Army.  More to come next month on this topic.

Also, we are planning another SHARP Summit at the Senior Leader level. General Odierno will be fully engaged and the dates are set for 28-29 January in Washington, D.C.

Lots more to share with you next month! Thanks for your attention and focus on SHARP. We will make a difference.

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Director addresses the state of Army SHARP program