Representatives from the Army Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Response Program joined University of Kansas facilitators Aug. 14-20 at the KU campus in Lawrence, Kansas, to teach students prevention of sexual violence.
According to the University of Kansas Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Center, the university runs a bystander intervention program called Jayhawks Give a Flock (or Flock) for freshmen and transfer students during the first weeks of school.
The program educates students about risky behaviors associated with sexual assault, intervention techniques to prevent sexual violence, and resources available at the university.
Army SHARP Academy instructor and writer Marvin Lockett II said SHARP began reaching out to regional organizations in 2016 to develop educational outreach programs. He said KU was an ideal partner because of its military-affiliated personnel, students, and ROTC program.
Lockett developed a relationship between SHARP and equivalent KU programs. He worked with Jen Brockman, director of the KU Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, to share information about programs in the military and KU communities and how to close the sexual violence gap.
Lockett said SHARP has participated in Flock twice and recently added eight SHARP Academy team members and instructors to serve as facilitators during Flock programs on campus. He said the SHARP team enthusiastically teaches students and refers them to resources.
“We in the SHARP community, especially here on this facility, have so many resources in terms of education and knowledge on this subject. What we bring to the table when we go to KU is the fact that…although we’re not professors, we’re off the beaten path, so (students) can talk to us more,” said Lockett, also referring to the advantage of teaching without being a mandatory reporter.
He said KU’s program focuses on large-scale prevention and emphasizes bystander intervention because often more than one person can witness the potential for sexual violence.
“Discussing (spectator intervention) and discussing the impacts of what might happen if they do nothing is definitely one of the things that’s beneficial in this forum, especially for college kids,” Lockett said.
Lockett said the Flock program also shares sexual violence statistics by demographic during training sessions, which can help people on campus identify focal points for prevention.
“It’s all broken down by race, demographics, sexual orientation…I think that’s really important to a lot of communities because it raises awareness,” Lockett said. “(KU) got it right. They have understood this one well and they benefit from it, and it is supported by prevention courses that each student must follow.
He said students often follow suit in crowds and it can be difficult to teach them about bystander intervention. Lockett said SHARP facilitators attempt to emphasize the value of breaking collective behaviors to solve problems and protect others. He said he finds the students to be very receptive to information and willing to make changes to help prevent sexual violence.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re on a college campus or a military installation, it doesn’t matter how old the student is or how old the soldier is — we still have these issues because of society,” Lockett said. said.
Lockett said he plans to continue SHARP’s relationship with KU and reach out to other universities.
“It’s anything so that we can move forward and make these connections that help us all learn, share and grow in terms of sexual violence, so that we can solve this problem together,” said Lockett. .