Felicia Brice, new garrison SARC;

Joint Base Meyer Henderson-Hall’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention has a new garrison Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Felicia Brice, who is ready to let those who need her assistance know, she is a vault.

 

New JBM-HH SARC talks calling for sexual assault, victim advocacy

 

Joint Base Meyer Henderson-Hall’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention Program has a new garrison Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Felicia Brice, who is ready to let those who need her assistance know she is a vault.

Brice’s position entails being a subject-matter expert for sexual assault or harassment and reporting to the installation. She also oversees all cases of sexual assault or harassment that are reported to SHARP. She calls herself a vault because she wants everyone to know when they converse with her about their situations, it is like they are putting their conversation in a vault, and the conversation will not go elsewhere.

Brice has been with SHARP since September, but she has been in the sexual assault victim advocacy field for a little over 11 years. She said this field chose her.

“I do this because most women in my life — both family and friends — came to me about their sexual assault for help before I started in this field,” Brice said.

She said even when she would have a night on the town, strangers — men and women — would tell her about their sexual assaults. She said at first she questioned why people always came to her, but realized it was her calling.

“It’s my calling, my passion,” Brice said. “I feel it is something I will remain in, in some capacity until I die.”

Brice started her time in sexual assault advocacy when she was a senior at Howard University. She said that year she finished an internship with a program in Woodbridge’s Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Services. She said after completing the internship, she continued volunteering there for four years.

She said her advocacy role took her to a paid job in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, where she stayed for two years.

Brice explained that after being there, she left and used her skills within the Navy. She covered three different locations, and was a victim advocacy support specialist for the Navy. She was there for over five years and even temporarily promoted to a SARC position.

Brice said coming to the position on JBM-HH allowed her the chance to accelerate in her career, help a different demographic (Army) and be a part of the Army again. Both her parents were active duty in the Army for 20 years.

Brice said SARCs are important to the Army because sexual assault and sexual harassment are still happening in military settings and elsewhere. She said, “until we eradicate it, our positions are needed. It is pretty much our job to make our job unnecessary eventually.”

She said the goal is to make sure sexual assaults and harassment go away.

As a SARC, she said it is not difficult for her to separate personal feelings, but she said others may struggle with it at the beginning of their role in sexual assault victim advocacy.

“It is second nature for me to take myself out of it and place my focus on the person who is coming to me,” Brice said. “It takes understanding that this person needs your help and assistance, and it is already difficult for them to come to you.”

Brice finished the SHARP Foundation training course, The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Victim Advocate Career Course in May. She said a lot of it was a refresher, but she liked seeing how others in the same field executed their training plans. She said she noticed the different ways others coordinate for the different demographics where they are located. She noticed the different approaches that she said will be useful in the future.

Since being on the base since September, Brice notice there is a trust in the SHARP program.

“The increase in reporting is indicative of a trust in the program because they are coming to us, but I think it’s still a problem,” Brice said. “I think an ultimate change in the culture, the military, even society as a whole need to change.”

She said she knows change happens very slowly, but she said the response portion of SHARP means people are trusting it and coming to them.

“How do we get to the left of the problem?” Brice asked.

The SHARP program at JBM-HH assists active duty members and their dependents who are 18 years old or older. She has noticed that by the time people join the military or turn 18, they sometimes have unhealthy mindsets surrounding consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“Prior to becoming an adult, our mindsets regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault and consent tend to already be formed by society and social norms,” explained Brice. “Those norms, however, are not necessarily healthy or normal.”

Brice explained this through the concept of the “hookup culture.” She said alcohol is the most commonly used date rape drug, and this has been normalized. She said that in many populations, alcohol is used as a means to lower another person’s defenses in order to obtain sex without consent.

“Sex without consent is sexual assault,” Brice said. “When in doubt, use caution when alcohol is involved.”

Brice said she wants people to trust the SHARP program at every step of the process, because they will be supported at every step.

As far as the future, Brice would like to have more year-round events, and not just in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Joint Base Meyer Henderson-Hall’s Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention Program has a new garrison Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Felicia Brice, who is ready to let those who need her assistance know she is a vault.

Brice’s position entails being a subject-matter expert for sexual assault or harassment and reporting to the installation. She also oversees all cases of sexual assault or harassment that are reported to SHARP. She calls herself a vault because she wants everyone to know when they converse with her about their situations, it is like they are putting their conversation in a vault, and the conversation will not go elsewhere.

Brice has been with SHARP since September, but she has been in the sexual assault victim advocacy field for a little over 11 years. She said this field chose her.

“I do this because most women in my life — both family and friends — came to me about their sexual assault for help before I started in this field,” Brice said.

She said even when she would have a night on the town, strangers — men and women — would tell her about their sexual assaults. She said at first she questioned why people always came to her, but realized it was her calling.

“It’s my calling, my passion,” Brice said. “I feel it is something I will remain in, in some capacity until I die.”

Brice started her time in sexual assault advocacy when she was a senior at Howard University. She said that year she finished an internship with a program in Woodbridge’s Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Services. She said after completing the internship, she continued volunteering there for four years.

She said her advocacy role took her to a paid job in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, where she stayed for two years.

Brice explained that after being there, she left and used her skills within the Navy. She covered three different locations, and was a victim advocacy support specialist for the Navy. She was there for over five years and even temporarily promoted to a SARC position.

Brice said coming to the position on JBM-HH allowed her the chance to accelerate in her career, help a different demographic (Army) and be a part of the Army again. Both her parents were active duty in the Army for 20 years.

Brice said SARCs are important to the Army because sexual assault and sexual harassment are still happening in military settings and elsewhere. She said, “until we eradicate it, our positions are needed. It is pretty much our job to make our job unnecessary eventually.”

She said the goal is to make sure sexual assaults and harassment go away.

As a SARC, she said it is not difficult for her to separate personal feelings, but she said others may struggle with it at the beginning of their role in sexual assault victim advocacy.

“It is second nature for me to take myself out of it and place my focus on the person who is coming to me,” Brice said. “It takes understanding that this person needs your help and assistance, and it is already difficult for them to come to you.”

Brice finished the SHARP Foundation training course, The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Victim Advocate Career Course in May. She said a lot of it was a refresher, but she liked seeing how others in the same field executed their training plans. She said she noticed the different ways others coordinate for the different demographics where they are located. She noticed the different approaches that she said will be useful in the future.

Since being on the base since September, Brice notice there is a trust in the SHARP program.

“The increase in reporting is indicative of a trust in the program because they are coming to us, but I think it’s still a problem,” Brice said. “I think an ultimate change in the culture, the military, even society as a whole need to change.”

She said she knows change happens very slowly, but she said the response portion of SHARP means people are trusting it and coming to them.

“How do we get to the left of the problem?” Brice asked.

The SHARP program at JBM-HH assists active duty members and their dependents who are 18 years old or older. She has noticed that by the time people join the military or turn 18, they sometimes have unhealthy mindsets surrounding consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“Prior to becoming an adult, our mindsets regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault and consent tend to already be formed by society and social norms,” explained Brice. “Those norms, however, are not necessarily healthy or normal.”

Brice explained this through the concept of the “hookup culture.” She said alcohol is the most commonly used date rape drug, and this has been normalized. She said that in many populations, alcohol is used as a means to lower another person’s defenses in order to obtain sex without consent.

“Sex without consent is sexual assault,” Brice said. “When in doubt, use caution when alcohol is involved.”

Brice said she wants people to trust the SHARP program at every step of the process, because they will be supported at every step.

As far as the future, Brice would like to have more year-round events, and not just in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Pentagram Staff Writer, Katrina Wilson can be reached at kmoses@dcmilitary.com.

Pentagram Staff Writer, Katrina Wilson can be reached at kmoses@dcmilitary.com.