An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Features : Display
NEWS | Jan. 6, 2015

JBLE strives to prevent sexual harassment, assault

By By Senior Airman Kimberly Nagle 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention teams work around the clock to make sure JBLE patrons are educated and taken care of in a time of need.

Members of JBLE have help and information available to them 24 hours a day on all types of sexual harassment and assaults, which are defined as unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical sexual contact.

Each of the programs are geared toward ending sexual harassment and assault by providing subject matter experts, such as victim advocates and Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, who are available to assist with the reporting and recovery process after an attack.

The SHARP program has a goal to educate and train U.S. Army Soldiers to prevent sexual harassment and assault, said Melisa Ram, installation victim advocate.

"[We] ensure victims of sexual assault receive sensitive, confidential and immediate comprehensive treatment in order to restore their health and well-being," said Ram. "[We also] create a climate that encourages victims to report incidents of sexual assault without fear. And ensure that sexual assault crimes are thoroughly investigated and that offenders are held accountable for their crimes."

The Soldiers and civilians at Fort Eustis are required to take three hours of annual training. They are able to do that through unit training or attending shows such as "Sex Signals" an improvisational comedy group or listen to speakers talk on the SHARP subject.

The SAPR program has multiple tools to educate personnel. They host briefings to participants of Right Start, First Term Airman Center and deployers. There are also unit stand-down days where the program assists in providing the units with SAPR information.

"[SAPR] has recently rolled out our very own theater group where they perform a skit, and then do a question-and-answer session with the individuals still in their roles allowing people to see each point of view," said U.S. Air Force Capt. John Riley, 633rd Air Base Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response deputy. "Moreover, we are preparing to roll out some classes that will be offered base-wide focusing on risk reduction, what to do as a supervisor, bystander intervention and more."

The main priority for the new programs focuses on bystander intervention, said Ram.

"Bystander Intervention is still a huge focus as most sexual assaults have a bystander present prior to the event," he said. "Many times we turn a blind eye and don't step in when we see someone in trouble. More often than not, when a bystander steps in, it prevents issues from escalating farther."

The Air Force conducted training where they gathered commanders to learn of their perspective on sexual assault, resulting in group discussions. From that training they are looking to create modules that commanders can utilize to conduct small group sessions.

Included in that training, Langley will continue to conduct "Got Consent?" which is a mock trial training event that originates from a true story. Service members get walked through a sexual assault case, than observe a court hearing.

"The SARC program puts this event on allowing participants to sit in as jurors," said Riley. "They get to decide whether they believe an individual is guilty of sexual assault based on the information provided."

There are many ways to get involved with either program to include becoming a victim advocate or attending one of the "Got Consent?" trials.

For more information or to get involved with the SAPR program, e-mail or call 764-3359. For the SHARP program, call 268-8967.