The military sexual harassment and assault affect various amenity units of all gender, ages, ranks, and sexualities. For instance, around 6.2 percent of serving duty females and 0.7 percent of active-duty males ranging from 17 years to 24 years old encountered sexual harassment and assaults globally in 2018 (Skopp et al., 2019). Female amenity in the pentagon report stated that the majority of offenders were friends and acquaintances. Mainly, sexual assaults within the American military are rampant, thus, acquiring comprehensive media coverage in the previous years (Skopp et al., 2019). Additionally, a minimum of thirty-two percent of women in the US military report having encountered sexual assaults severally times while about eighty percent of the female military have faced sexual harassment instances (Katon et al., 2015)
Correspondingly, sexual assaults within the military affect every member where both men and women encounter such cases. Although the aggregate percentage of females presenting sexual assault cases is optimal but the number of male victims is rising. Statistical data acquired at Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, which is performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Aversion and the Kaiser Permanente, indicates that an estimate of one in every six males gets sexually assaulted during their childhood (Katon et al., 2015). The data translates that above 8000 males enroll in the Military annually have been sexually abused.
Additionally, the Department of Defence Yearly Report on Sexual assaults within the army approximated that around 6300 males encountered sexual assault in the financial year 2016. Historically, males experience more sexual assault cases in the military compared to women. However, more females report such assaults more significant than males, thus creating a notion that females are more sexually assaulted compared to males. Notably, females are two and half times most likely to present sexual assaults than men, therefore, leading to forty-three percent sexual assault cases reported by women compared to seventeen percent of males, who report sexual assault (Katon et al., 2015). Further, the implicated military service units are vulnerable to various medical issues which include chronic agony, eating disorders, substance abuse, and misuse, panic disorders, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic exhaustion, dissociative conditions, constant and acute headaches as well as gastrointestinal symptoms (Katon et al., 2015).
Subsequently, such conditions lead to constant medical demands, thus, causing an extreme medical burden on the military system, holidays for the affected army unit to permit effective healing, and the likelihood of being fired because of incapacity to perform during military responsibilities and mission. The sequence has to lead to the establishment of Military Sexual Harassment or Assault Response Prevention (SHARP) initiative to; establish an ecology that significantly reduces the sexual assault cases affecting all military specialists and their family units and ecology that encourages more sexual assault reporting and protection of the reporting military associates. Also, the program aims at initiating sexual assault awareness campaigns and training to ensure military education and warrantee responsive and inclusive therapy to reinstate the victim’s wellness, explore allegations linked to sexual assaults, and ensure proper governance and disciplinary actions to the perpetrator(s).
Regardless of the SHARP program execution in various military stations in the United States, the sexual assault cases progress to elevate, especially in my current Army station. At my present location, many instances of sexual assaults are linked to unwelcome sexual encroachments, demand for sexual favors, and following offensive remarks as well as gestures of sexual nature by peers, team supervisors, and military-based friends. Also, various cases of condonation by individuals in command positions and influence has caused elevation of sexual assault cases.
The SHARP program has been active in my military center since 2008 as a mechanism to respond to the occurrences of sexual assaults and harassment within the relevant army station. However, the number of reported sexual harassment and assault cases continues to rise, causing more suffering to fellow military members. At the respective station, the military employs various cultural norms where masculinity and gender impartiality are nourished (Abueg, 2016).
Therefore, if military males are found to harass or assault the female gender sexually, they are perceived potent by their peers, thus, encouraging female sexual harassment and assault. Also, following victory during a military mission, male army associates are offered girls, regardless if the girls are a segment of the army composition, for sexual pleasures. Various military supervisors and commanders employ sexual influence for career promotion, career sustainability within the army, thus leading to widespread cases of sexual harassment, and assaults. Therefore, despite the SHARP initiative exertions to minimize and finally eradicate sexual harassment and assault instances in the military, the reported cases progress to intensify (Abueg, 2016).
Therefore, some changes to the SHARP initiative should be executed to ensure swift reduction and elimination of the occurrence of sexual assaults and harassments in the army. The commendations include:
- Emphasizing federal government establishment of a just promotion and career sustainability laws for the military workforce. This will eradicate the supervisor’s sexual influence, assault, and harassment for preferment and career sustainability. It will mean that people are promoted according to their ability to perform their duty and not due to sexual favors.
- Abolishment of cultural norms that encourage sexual harassment, gender impartiality, and masculinity, thus creating an ecology that facilitates the eradication of sexual assaults in the military through the SHARP program. Therefore, the application of cultural norms and military commanders utilizing the sexual influence at the workplace are core barriers to the efficiency of the Sharp initiative within my military station.
- RAND Corporation – Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military
- Military.com – Survey Shows Military Sexual Assault Is Still a Large-Scale Problem in US
- Journal of Traumatic Stress – The Prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma: A Meta-Analysis
- CBS Philly – Me Too: Dozens Of Men Come Forward In Wake Of Hollywood Sex Scandal