SHARP Program: Strengthening Leadership & Eradicating Assault.
Leadership Structure and Chain of Command:
Sexual assault/harassment has to stop! At the current moment, that is not being accomplished. Since Feb. 6, 2004, the army has implemented ways of stopping sexual assault/harassment. Although these methods have seemed to make more cases known, they haven’t necessarily weaved out the actual problem itself. Sexual assault/harassment can be taken away completely by a couple of methods. Higher repercussions, more knowledge of the situation, and less tolerance for potential incidents will help put a stop to sexual assault/harassment.
Inadequate Repercussions and Punishments:
Sexual assault happens in the military due to leadership structure, according to recent service members who have dealt with sexual assault. In the army, sexual assault is handled within the chain of command, which means that a victim’s commanding officer has the right to get involved at any point. A chain of command can stop an investigation, reduce a sentence or even stop a conviction. The army sharp program is helping out, but I don’t believe it reduces the risk of sexual assault. The standards we have in place now can be improved.
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Empowering Education and Training:
The D.O.D Enclosure 1 Department of the Army shows its case synopses. In these cases, the punishments are almost laughable. The repercussions vary from 30 days of duty without pay to discharge. These punishments that are handed out are not enough. Soldiers should fear the punishment. That’s like standing in the corner or getting an ass-whooping. People who are handed hard punishment are left knowing they shouldn’t do what they did.
Heightened Standards and Zero Tolerance:
Also, I believe the army needs to apply more knowledge and have a lower tolerance potential for incidents. The army would like to say Sharp is working, but between 2016 and 2017, there was an increase of 4.4 per 1000 in 2016 and 4.7 per 1000 in 2017. They’re going in the right direction with training just needs to be more of it. Tolerance in the military is portrayed as strict, but I don’t believe it is. I know many soldiers that hear instructions and directly do not follow them. If you were told not to go hang out with female soldiers, there are people that will. That needs to be the start; stop actions like this.
Sexual assault/harassment is a growing problem. The fact people are talking about it is great. We need to tighten it up on ways to be completely free of sexual assault/harassment. These methods I have spoken on definitely will do the job. Implementing higher repercussions, more knowledge, and less tolerance for potential incidents will stop this. Sexual assault/harassment has to stop! If these ideas are enforced, then it definitely will.
- Department of Defense. (2004). Enclosure 1: Department of the Army SHARP Program Case Synopses.
- Kramer, S. N., & Zweben, J. E. (2019). Combating Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Military: Assessing the Efficacy of Current Programs and Policies. Military Psychology, 31(2), 165-175.
- Smith, J. M., & Brown, A. L. (2018). Perceptions of Leadership Structure and its Impact on Military Sexual Assault: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Military Ethics, 17(3), 238-256.
- Thompson, L. A., & Rodriguez, A. K. (2020). Evaluating the Effectiveness of the SHARP Program: An Analysis of Trends in Military Sexual Assault Cases. Armed Forces & Society, 46(3), 455-475.
- U.S. Army. (2022). Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program Guide.