TSC Leadership Training Focuses on Sexual Assault Prevention

Story Number: NNS140925-18Release Date: 9/25/2014 3:34:00 PM
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By Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes conducted a Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Leadership workshop in conjunction with a presentation by Catharsis Productions, Sept. 24, as part of an ongoing effort to prevent sexual assault.

The training was held for TSC staff members in order to keep the senior staff current on the training that is being given to the younger students.

"Specifically, we are focusing on sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention - which is critical to everyone, whether you're in the military or a Department of Defense civilian - and sexual harassment and equal opportunity in the workplace," said Capt. John B. Vliet, commanding officer, TSC. "We as the TSC leadership are taking this training very seriously so that we are aligned with the training that is being given to our student population."

Catharsis Productions' mission is to reduce interpersonal violence by producing artistically innovative and research-supported programming that challenges oppressive attitudes, transforms behavior, and inspires communities to create a world without violence.

MVP provides the leadership necessary to address the global issues of sexism, especially men's violence against women. Through their training programs, they educate, inspire and empower men and women to prevent, interrupt and respond to sexist abuse.

Catharsis Productions has developed new programs that approach sexual violence prevention from different, yet mutually reinforcing vantage points. Their programs explore the complexity of "hook-up culture," enabling participants to identify the core differences between healthy sex and rape, along with the critical role alcohol plays in increasing vulnerability.

They also provide audiences with the tools to step in and intervene as a bystander, whether that means physically intervening in a specific situation, or arming them with the arguments they need to challenge corrosive, blaming attitudes. Their programs give audiences the language and tools that enable them to act, along with the analytical capacity they need to do so in a timely and responsible way.

"This is effective because it gets people to participate and to examine their own ideas and thoughts about these issues," said Shirley Moody, Catharsis consultant and trainer. "For a lot of people, they've never really taken time or have been asked to think about their own values and ideas. The leadership piece is important as we get the group thinking what kind of leadership role they can take and this helps inspire people to want to do something."

Moody also explained the importance of the bystander portion.

"It empowers everyone because people are in situations all the time where they have opportunities to act, and we help them to think what are the reasons that they don't act and how can they raise awareness around these issues so that they feel some kind of compulsion to act," said Moody.

The program gives participants the chance to speak, especially during the breakout sessions where they interact and engage in conversation with others to share their ideas.

"Usually most people come into training sessions kicking and screaming, thinking, 'how much time do we have to spend? What is this going to be like?' but what we really employ is discussion-based training that focuses on active learning strategies along with a lot of media presentations to help stimulate their focus," said Jeff O'Brien, director of MVP National.

The training serves to emphasize TSC's commitment to a climate which elevates the Navy's core values, as well as charge each Sailor and civilian partner to actively participate in an environment that does not tolerate, condone, or ignore destructive and sexist behaviors.

"This shows a lot of the training that we are giving to the students and it puts us into a prospective so that way our leadership can see what they're learning and help us reinforce it better," said Chief Fire Controlman (AW/SW) Martin Soto, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC.

For more news from Training Support Center, Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/tscgl/.

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