SAINT PAUL, MN -- The Minnesota National Guard is looking for ways to decrease the number of sexual assault and harassment cases and improve its response.
The guard announced the results from a recent review of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) and Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) programs.
The review found that the SAPR/SHARP programs adhere to current guidance and policies, but the policies themselves need to be updated.
The review also found that the programs need standardizing knowledge across the organization, expanded training, better communication with victims and survivors and improved timeliness of the investigation process.
The guard also held three town hall meetings to address the issue of sexual assault within its force. Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen said that he will develop a strategy to assess the current programs and investigation process.
"In short, we must do better. As leaders, we are responsible when our formations tolerate the type of toxic attitudes and behaviors that leave room for sexual harassment and assault," Jensen said. "Our units are a direct reflection of who we are and what we are willing to accept. We must stand together to protect our people."
Visit the Minnesota National Guard's website to learn more about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.