The Progression of SHARP
Across the Army Soldiers learn about sexual assaults and prevention. Out of all the sexual assault cases, the Army has the most reported and continues to increase. Sexual Assault is when a victim cannot consent to force by sexual contact, humiliation, or authority abuse.
Some sexual offenses that are included in UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) include rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit these offenses. Educating these subjects is a way of ensuring a safe reporting environment, and also ensuring appropriate accountability. We as Soldiers have to step up and intervene sexual assaults from occurring, this will help with how many cases reported each year.
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How it works
In the Military, sexual assaults handled within the chain of command. Although we train to prevent sexual assault, these issues continue to happen. When I joined the military I expected the system to make me feel safe, as if I could go to anyone and talk to them. Yes, there are programs offered but do they always help?
If you find yourself wondering whether it does or not then it don’t. The occurrence of sexual assault continues to happen because when victims speak out they want someone to listen to them and not just hear them. We as not only Soldiers but as people should be there when someone needs it, we have to stop blaming the victim. Perpetrators are the ones who are responsible. We have to hold them accountable for their actions.
Our approach to help minimize the cases against sexual assault is that we continue to inform everyone that joins the Military on these topics. Receiving briefings and sex signals skits is a way of ensuring we know how to prevent sexual assault and harassment from happening. Briefings are not going to stop a perpetrator from performing sexual acts, those are feelings from within that was there before even joining the Military. The Army’s method of training is ineffective since the numbers of sexual assault continue to increase.
Despite its name, sexual abuse is more about power than it is about sex. Predators seek out helpless victims to have full control over them. According to U.S. Department of Defense, “The Military Services received 6,769 reports of sexual assault involving Service members”. Each year there are still incidents that go unreported.
Our enemies are not the ones we’re fighting wars against. Our true enemy are the ones who stand next to us in the ranks. The ones you call “Leaders”. In the powerful words spoken by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Edward Wilson, “I’m sexual harassment and assault – If you can’t win the war against me, you’ll never be able to defeat your country’s enemies.”