Sexual Violence in the Military
The Army needs a big cultural change to effectively combat sexual assault. Every Soldier needs to be treated equally with respect and dignity. Soldiers should not be afraid to speak up and correct others regardless of grade or position. Everyone needs to be aware of techniques of dealing with sexual harassment and assault. We as leaders need to work on building a climate of accountability and trust. Everyone needs to motivate others to learn more about sharp and how to combat it.
Why does sexual assault occur? Sexual assault occurs because not everyone is treated equally. If all people were treated equally then there would be no sexual assault. One of my favorite quotes regarding this topic is “”Do to others as you would have them do to you”” (Luke 6:31). Nobody deserves to be treated badly regardless of age race or gender. People need to put cultural differences aside and focus on the family that is the army.
Does our current approach to training reduce (or not reduce) the risk of sexual assault and harassment? I believe that the army’s current approach to sexual assault training does reduce risk of sexual assault. Every day new and effective training methods on sexual assault are being implemented in the army. There is a 24/7 SHARP hotline that can be utilized by anyone at any time. Many resources are posted online regarding ways to report sexual assault. New soldiers are being trained to use the method “”if you see something say something””. The army has become more and more aware of ways to prevent sexual assault. People come from all over the world to join the united states army. Many people are being exposed to cultures they have never seen before. Everyone needs to Embrace new things with an open mind and not be scared.
All soldiers have a voice and they need to be confident in using it. It is a common attribute of lower enlisted to be intimidated of higher ups. I don’t believe this is okay. Fear is something that holds you back. Fear can stop you from pursuing the better of two choices. Instead of brushing off something due to fear we all need to speak up. Having respect for rank is perfect, however having fear is wrong. If a private sees a staff sergeant doing something wrong, they should make it known. A climate of trust and accountability is key in prevent all wrongs not just sexual assault.
How do we end sexual violence in the military? It is possible to eliminate sexual assault in the army! Every individual needs to be more caring towards each other. We all need to ensure everyone feels they are being treated with respect and dignity. Nobody can be their best without some help from others. Being your best as a leader means other people are also being held to a high standard. A quote I feel strongly relates to this topic is “”A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”” (Vladimir Lenin).
What I hope everyone takes away from this essay is togetherness. The army has its own culture that we all belong to. We must constantly improve this culture to better fit our changing army. Be aware of others, be aware of problems and of solutions. All soldiers are professionals, leaders and family. We need to ensure ourselves and others act like it. In order to stand together we first must help each other to our feet!