Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention
In the Army, there is a program called SHARP which means Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention. The program allows the company commanders, soldiers, Department of the Army, and family members to use in a sexual harassment or sexual assault. The SHARP program has a guidebook that can be followed to help with prevention of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and give response efforts to aid the command team in efforts to help victims.
Sexual Harassment definition is “”a form of gender discrimination involving unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature between two individuals”” (Smith) Sexual Harassment occurs mostly in the settings of work or school. Examples of Sexual Harassment could be showing inappropriate pictures, inappropriate touching, and even inappropriate messages.
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Sexual Assault is defined as “”any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented to that touch.”” (Smith) Sexual Assault involves physical contact and can occur between any persons in any location. The current increase of sexual assault cases has proven that the current Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention training could use improvements.
Upon researching cases of sexual assault within the United States Army, the attacks occur in a date settings or parties within the barracks. “”Fort Bragg, NC also sees its fair share of date rape cases, where often times the facts show something short of rape or sexual assault.”” (The Army) In barrack parties there are usually a high count of alcohol being consumed. “”Prior to the alleged assault, Reyes said she was at a party in the barracks, where she and her fellow soldiers were drinking.”” (Cohen) In the setting of barrack parties there are usually a high count of people ranging from civilians, soldiers from the same unit, and soldiers that are from a different job fields but live in the same barracks.
In cases of sexual assault with the consumption of alcohol a person cannot soundly give consent to have sexual intercourse. “”Reyes maintained that she was incapable of giving consent at the time and emphasized that she would not have willingly agreed to have sexual intercourse under normal circumstances…”” (Cohen) There are also situation that happen whether there is alcohol consumption or in other situations to where one person changes their mind on the sexual intercourse.
In doing further research on whether the SHARP program is currently being used in the military is not working. There has been an increase of Sexual Assault cases within Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “” A summary released by the Department of Defense shows reports of sexual assault from Fort Bragg increased by 28 percent in 2016 over the year before.”” (Sexual) To prevent SHARP cases would be for the command team and soldiers to understand and recognize there is a problem with sexual assault. “”[…] making that program work requires educated, inspired and engaged leaders at every level — and a willingness to take action.””
A program cannot correctly be managed if leaders are not properly trained on SHARP and the SHARP program. Another way to help prevent SHARP cases also does not include training but what soldiers are currently doing in their spare time. There could possibly be more rules dealing with the barracks, such as making sure soldiers are following rules their command team has implemented. The Army is still trying to figure out how to make the SHARP program a stronger force. Currently the training is not effective but at least the Army has realized through the increased number of sexual assault cases and is acting to better the program and training.