Fort Jackson’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Specialists got interactive June 22 with a new application designed to help train Army command teams on their responsibilities in the SHARP program.
With the help of a virtual Sexual Assault Response Coordinator named Sgt. Davis, the new laptop based application uses realism to train command teams on actions to take after a sexual assault incident happens.
Lead SARC Master Sgt. Lori Faircloth said Fort Jackson might start using the program within the next quarter. The decision when to start implementing the training is up to each individual SHARP Specialist’s plan for their commands.
“Anything that will help us get better at dealing with our victims I think is great,” said Staff Sgt. Andrea Myers, a Moncrief Victim Advocate. “Finding better ways to help them is always important.”
The new application will challenges users to select the best choice in an interactive virtual scenario with digital characters.
Before selecting a response, users not only have to pay attention to what the person is saying, but their body language as well to come up with the best solution.
The program was developed by the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies and the Army Research Laboratory. It was funded by the Army G1 and the Army’s SHARP program management office.
The content for the program was developed by using documents from real cases.
“SHARP is such a big cloud and what might work for one person might not work in another situation,” said Roy Wall with Army Research Laboratory who trained the specialists in the use of the program.
“You guys are the specialists! You might not agree with all of the solutions and that’s okay. We want you to use this program as if it’s just one tool on your tool belt,” he said.
During the training, Fort Jackson SHARP specialists got to offer feedback on the program.
Wall said he plans on traveling to every Army installation and listening to the feedback from SHARP specialists to try to incorporate it into the program.
Tom Seely, Program Manager at Army SHARP PMO, said they have spent well over a million dollars incorporating some of the feedback given to them about the program.
“We want this [application] to grow. Our goal is to keep updating it and making it better,” said Seely.