• December 22, 2014

Fort Hood merging assault, harassment programs

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:50 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Colleen Flaherty

Fort Hood Herald

Locally, Army Community Services' Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program manager Mark Francis said further Pentagon initiatives to curb sexual harassment and assault are under way.

The installation is on track for merging its sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention staffs and procedures into one program, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, by the October deadline, he said.

"I think it's a great move," said Francis. Not only does it heighten awareness of the prohibition of sexual harassment, but "Army studies have shown that sexual harassment can lead into sexual assault."

Billy Floyd, manager of Fort Hood's Family Advocacy Program, said the post is committed from its corps commander down to the company level to "making sure the sexual assault services and programs are effective." That includes building an environment where reporting sexual trauma is encouraged, not stigmatized, she said.

Numbers of sexual assaults reported at Fort Hood were not available.

Kimberly Bayes-Bautista, a social worker at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, said personnel who have experienced sexual trauma can go to Darnall's emergency department where a medical team, including a social worker will tend to the victim's immediate medical needs.

One of the post's 11 victim advocates also is called to brief victims on restricted or unrestricted reporting options. Regardless of their choice, victims can elect to receive a forensic sexual assault examination at Scott & White Hospital by a sexual assault nurse examiner.

Follow-up medical care is provided by a sexual assault care provider and Darnall's Department of Social Work is contacted to initiate services. Victims who desire treatment can select a variety of options, including individual or group counseling, or both, with the possibility of a referral to a psychiatrist for medication or other medical treatment.

Patients having an especially tough time can be referred to in-patient Women's Trauma Recovery Center at the Central Texas Healthcare System in Temple.

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