Soldiers SHARPen knowledge of sexual assault prevention during race

Photo by Emily Jennings
Teammates work together to solve a word scramble at a station hosted by the 214th Combat Aviation Brigade, along with the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program, during the SHARP Amazing Race April 13, 2017 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

Soldiers, civilians and Family members learned about the role of alcohol in sexual assault, the steps in a sexual harassment report, bystander intervention and more during U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s third annual SHARP Amazing Race.

Participants were able to get their daily physical training in and at the same time check the block on their required annual face-to-face SHARP training. About 150 people participated in this year’s event, plus about 70 volunteers. The race, which took place April 13, was one of several events planned at the garrison in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Teams completed challenges in staggered heats at various locations around Clay Kaserne. Jogging from station to station, teams tested their knowledge about sexual assault and prevention.

Photo by Emily Jennings
A competitor answers questions about the role of alcohol in sexual assault before tossing bean bags into a hole at the Army Substance Abuse Program station during the SHARP Amazing Race April 13, 2017 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

Before the racers set out, 66th Military Intelligence Brigade commander Col. Devon Blake, who also participated in the event, highlighted something she hopes they would take away from the event, in regards to sexual assault prevention: “As you go through life, it is extremely important that if you see something that doesn’t look right…that you say something.”

“The event promotes positive respectful dialogue regarding SHARP,” said SHARP Program Manager Bill Mottley. That dialogue will carry back to the work setting. That is where we can make huge strides in empowering Soldiers to act.”

At the Army Substance Abuse Program station, teams put on drunk goggles and attempted to toss a bean bag into a hole after answering questions about the role alcohol plays in sexual assaults. “It’s

Photos by Emily Jennings
A competitor tosses bean bags into a hole at the Army Substance Abuse Program station during the SHARP Amazing Race April 13 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.

an important lesson, because drinking is a factor in a lot of the cases we see,” said Rachel Phillips, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. “Alcohol is the number one drug used in sexual assaults.”

The 66th MI hosted a sexual harassment Jeopardy scenario. Competitors were tasked with placing the 12 steps of a sexual harassment report in order and then completing a bean bag toss. “It’s important for us to highlight sexual harassment and how it acts as a gateway to sexual assault,” Phillips said.

Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers hosted a bystander intervention station. Volunteers acted out scenarios and the team members had to decide when and how to intervene in a situation where a person may be at risk.

The 214th Combat Aviation Brigade, along with the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program organized a word scramble, where teams had to find the qualities they want to see in a victim advocate.

The 2nd Signal Brigade had three activities at their stop. Teams worked on

Photo by Emily Jennings
A competitor in U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s SHARP Amazing Race guides a blindfolded teammate through a course using only verbal directions at the 2nd Signal Brigade station April 13 on Clay Kaserne.

puzzles, participated in a trust exercise where they led a blindfolded teammate through a course using only verbal directions, and completed a physical challenge. Teams were challenged with matching the puzzles to the campaign they represent. “It helps people to realize that there are other campaigns out there for victims of sexual violence and domestic violence,” Phillips said. “This is a worldwide issue. It’s really much bigger than just us in the Army.”

The Criminal Investigative Command had a surprise station at the end. Teams had to perform 120 pushups as a team, work together to conduct wheelbarrow and firemen carries and then run to the basketball court and make a free throw. Finally, the team had run to the finish line and yell out their team name in order to have their time recorded.

First, second and third place all went to 2nd Signal Brigade teams: the Crusaders, The Signaleers and the Swatters.

Phillips, who helped plan the event, said, “If we can teach people how to properly intervene before these crimes occur, then we can move toward a culture where these behaviors are not tolerated.”


For more information about SHARP and SAAPM, go to www.sexualassault.army.mil.

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