"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"
The SHARP information cards distributed to all Institute staff members.

The SHARP information cards distributed to all Institute staff members. Photo by Steven Galvan

USAISR aiming to eliminate sexual harassment/assault

By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
7 AUGUST 2013

Eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military is the number one priority at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR).

“There’s no place for it at our Institute, and we should all do our part to eliminate it in the military,” said Col. (Dr.) Michael A. Weber, USAISR Commander.

With that mindset in place, Sgt. 1st Class Erika S. Buckmaster, USAISR Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator, collaborated with the USAISR Media Informatics Branch staff to design a useful item with relevant information concerning avenues to reporting sexual harassment or assault. The result is a plastic, credit card size tag with SHARP reporting information, USAISR SHARP representative phone number, Joint Base San Antonio SHARP hotline phone number, and the SHARP website on one side and a 2-D code with all that information on the other side that can be scanned and stored with a smart phone.

“What has been reported is that most people, alleged victims or not, do not have this information handy,” said Buckmaster, a nationally certified SHARP victim advocate. “The intent here is to give out something to the staff that raises awareness about the issue in the military and provides important information that can be readily available at all times.”

The card has a punched-out slot to be used on staff ID holders or wallets.

“I keep mine in my wallet in a credit card slot,” said Buckmaster. “It doesn’t matter where you carry it. What matters is that hopefully when you see it, it will trigger something that will make you aware of potential dangers and your surroundings.”

Buckmaster also hopes that this information is passed along to staff family members so that they are also aware of this important information. Most importantly, Buckmaster wants everyone to know that sexual assault/harassment is real and that there are several ways to report it and get assistance. The USAISR has five SHARP representatives who are available 24-7 to assist with any SHARP issues.

“It’s good to know that this information is readily available on this handy card,” said Sgt. Khanesha K. Murrell, USAISR Biological Science. “Hopefully, if anyone needs it, they will know that they can get help.”