New SHARP policy grants additional services to Army civilians

The safety and well-being of all Department of the Army civilians is at the forefront of a policy unveiled Sept. 17, which now allows them to receive Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention services.

The Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, program is an integrated, proactive effort to end sexual harassment and sexual assault within the ranks.

Army civilians are integral members of the Total Army team and deserve the same level of support as Soldiers and dependents. As such, the Army obtained an exception to Department of Defense policy that allows the Army to provide SHARP services to Army civilians – both appropriated and nonappropriated fund civilians – whether employed stateside or overseas.

The Army continually reviews, assesses, and enhances the SHARP Program to provide the best quality support and services to Soldiers, Army civilians and Family members. Past program improvements include the following:

•Released the “Army’s Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Annex” to the Army People Strategy to guide the collective efforts that constitute a comprehensive prevention approach across the Total Army from strategic to tactical levels.

•Introduced new prevention curriculum, informed by the DOD Prevention Plan, in the Army SHARP Academy for all SHARP professionals.

•Fielded new SHARP awareness materials for cadets, Soldiers and Family members. Developed under the tagline “This is Our Army”, the materials are based on the Army values and reinforces the importance of fostering healthy command climates.

The Army will continue with efforts to:

•Develop a new SHARP Regulation as informed by the efforts of the DOD-approved Independent Review Commission Recommendations and People First Task Force.

•Publish new SHARP awareness materials highlighting the availability of SHARP services for Army civilians. The materials will be fielded in early FY22.

•Rollout a self-care curriculum for SHARP professionals to get the help they need for vicarious trauma. This service, which will be free and available to all SHARP professionals, will be available in Q2 FY22

In support of the Army’s People First initiative, the Army is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of Army civilians.

Studies and surveys have shown that victims who receive advocacy services are more likely to receive medical treatment, engage with law enforcement and stay engaged throughout the criminal justice process. This can have a tremendous impact on the ability of communities within the Army to prevent additional sexual assaults.

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