Sexual Harassment and Rape in The Military

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Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention (SHARP) program continues to record cases of sexual harassment and rape in the military. Bullying, coercion, and other incidences related to sexual favors are the main forms of abuse occurring in the army. However, the Department of Defense (DOD) cannot ascertain whether the rise in the reported cases of sexual harassment and abuse implies a practical increase in the vices (Hillman, 2009).

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Given the intervention of the SHARP program, the military personnel are more aware of and sensitive to aspects of assaults with improved confidence in the systems that document the case. Therefore, the increase in the reported cases implies that sexual assault and abuse are diminishing through training and awareness, leading to a more sensitive and better-informed society ready to avoid, control, and report such cases.

The Occurrence of Sexual Assault

The cases of sexual assault occur in the military due to their lifestyles. The overconsumption of alcohol is an identified lifestyle risk exposure to sexual assault (Ray, 2015). Another factor that leads to sexual involvement is spending much time watching extremely violent content such as movies or playing video games that carry strong sexual themes. Such activities influence sexual assaults directed to either their colleagues or to ordinary citizens. An example of such incidence involved retired Col. David Riggins. Susan Shannon, an army cadet (Melissa, 2017), filed charges against the Colonel for rape. According to Melissa (2017), Suzan alleges that the rape incident happened after heavy alcohol consumption. Although the case was resolved by the court and the Col. Riggins acquitted, the issue reveals that alcohol consumption plays role in cases of the military sexual assault.

Training Programs as a Mitigation to Sexual Assaults

Training creates awareness and offers quality information to the military. The information gives approaches on how to avoid the occasions that increase the vulnerability of sexual assault (Headquarters, Deputy Chief of Staff, 2018). Training also supports the service men and women with the preparedness on how to respond effectively to incidences of rape irrespective of the perpetrator as well as their influence or the promised reward used to cover-up the assault.

The SHARP training program helps to build confidence both in public and the military. Improved reporting through the SHARP program has enhanced the confidence of the military in managing offenses. Given that the program promotes avenues for care and confidential reporting, the number of assault cases has decreased (Ray, 2015). Therefore, the increase in reported cases is a sign of improved awareness.

Ending Sexual Assault in the Military

Strengthening ethical conduct in the military practice is the utmost model that would end sexual assault. Hillman (2009) avers that solidifying reporting systems and effectively prosecuting the cases would reduce such assaults. Accordingly, awareness program among individuals in the military and the public would foster a cordial relationship that eliminates negative behavioral attitudes that are incidental to sexual assault.

Conclusion

Sexual assault in the military is an attitude issue caused by poor behavioral tenets and social exposure. Excessive consumption of alcohol and exposure to violent sexual contents are major causes that require mitigation initiatives through training and awareness. The SHARP program should ensure that its services infiltrate the military units to deliver effective approaches with the potential to build knowledge and skills between the military and the public to curb the vice. Through improved reporting and prosecutions, the military can achieve the objective to end the sexual assault.

References

Headquarters, Deputy Chief of Staff Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1. (2018). Sexual assault awareness and prevention month. U.S. Army. Retrieved from https://www.army.mil/standto/2018-04-03.

Hillman, E. L. (2009). Front and center: Sexual violence in US military law. Politics & Society, 37(1), 101-129.

Melissa, L. (2017). Woman who falsely accused former Army colonel of rape now has to pay million in damages. American Military News. Retrieved from https://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/08/woman-who-falsely-accused-former- armycolonel-of-rape-now-has-to-pay-millions-in-damages/.

Ray, G. (2015). HRC SHARP program opens its doors to raise awareness. HRC Public Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.army.mil/article/147186/hrc_sharp_program_opens_its_doors_to_raise_aw a reness.

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