News: 94th AAMDC kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Story by Staff Sgt. John Johnson
FORT SHAFTER, HAWAII — After the outstanding presentation that Sexual Harassment Assault and Response Program professionals gave to the command, March 29, 2013, soldiers within the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command understand that they have a group caring representatives to assist them in the event of a sexual assault incident.
Lead by Maj. Wayne Kinney, sexual assault response coordinator SHARP, 94th AAMDC, he and other SHARP professional representatives Chief Warrant Officer Doretha Magee, Staff Sgt. John H. Johnson III and Sgt. Merrilyn Brissette all facilitated classes on sexual assault and prevention, domestic violence, child abuse and suicide.
Kinney expressed his gratitude toward the unit’s SHARP program.
“The 94th AAMDC continues to lead USARPAC and other major units on the island of Oahu in preventing sexual assault as well as getting the word out that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month [SAAM]. Sexual Assault within are Army formation goes against everything we as a free nation fight, bleed, stand, and die for. Brothers and sisters in Arms is not just a campaign logo to prevent sexual assault they are taken literally meaning we are a family, and we look out for each other here in the 94th AAMDC. Bystanders only need to make a phone call to be involved and prevent a sexual assault from happening. I am proud of each and everyone in our unit, keep watching out for each other.”
Sexual assault according to Army regulation (AR) 600-20 is a crime defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent.
Brissette, schools noncommissioned officer and SHARP representative, 94th AAMDC is a victim of domestic violence herself and was proud to enlighten soldiers on how the Army can help soldiers who are victims of these crimes.
Brissette said, “I think we as a team pulled together and made the best of the situation. We were able to present the information in segments and not overwhelm the audience. I like the fact that we were able to use an open enough space to really get to present different material. Also, that we were able to bring in groups to help educate our service members on the severity of what really happens in individual’s lives.”
The regulation also states that all soldiers that encounter sexual assault in anyway must report the incident though the chain of command and every chain of command must investigate immediately and thoroughly. This means that soldiers that witness sexual assault can no longer stand by while witnessing these crimes and can be prosecuted for not reporting it.
Kinney gave out hotlines so that the soldiers can seek assistance from either him, the other SHARP representatives or higher authorities. The 24-hour Victim Advocacy Hotline is 808-624-7233 and the Department of Defense Safe Helpline is 866-955-5247.