In the Army, the SHARP (Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention) program is extremely serious. There are people that are not in the service and still have to attend courses on SHARP. What is SHARP? Does it still happen in the Army? Why is SHARP still present? What are ways to prevent SHARP?
Why does sexual harassment and assault occur? Sexual assault occurs for many different reasons. Such reasons can be being intoxicated or maybe something as simple as feeling lonely. When there are incidents that take place within a unit, people start to feel as if their rank will protect them. There are things such as “If you do this for me, I will do that for you” many females and males are put into this predicament (Quid pro quo). The Army has banned Quid pro quo and soldiers should know that there is a way to avoid these circumstances. Being able to scare someone into doing what he or she want is an example of illegal, unethical, and immoral activities.
SHARP commenced a task force to review Army policies that were about reporting and addressing allegations that dealt with sexual assault. SHARP begins as a program named SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response) program. This brought in the new VAP (Victim Advocacy Program), which coordinated response effort for sexual assault (home.army.mil). In September of 2008, the Army determined to reconstruct SAPR and bring in a new prevention and awareness program named POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment). The first phrase of POSH is “Committed Army Leadership” (sexualassault.army.mil). In April of 2010, a second phase known as “Army-wide conviction “originated (www.army.mil.). The third phase set forth in April 2011, which brought into the picture “I. AM. STRONG” (sexualassault.army.mil).The overall goal of The SHARP program is to reduce the overall risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The way that the army attempts to prevent SHARP from happening is to advocate. There are regulations such as AR 600-20, and even SHARP reminders implemented into every safety briefing formation. The best way to stop SHARP is to enforce mandatory training on topics such as “Bystander Intervention” (home.army.mil). This is when someone notices an intoxicated person. Then takes the initiative and steps up to cater to that person until they are completely out of danger.
No one has to feel alone and no one has to be alone. The ARMY has taken steps to prevent SHARP and they will continue that as one. When it comes to caring for someone, you do not know. Ask yourself, “How would you want to be treated in the current situation”. The feeling of not wanting to notify someone for his or her actions, always remember there is no such thing as “Everyone will know that I told” or “Everyone will look at me in different way”. Look at it as taking another step in today’s ARMY and making a difference to put an end to SHARP.