About Sexual Assault And Harassment In United States Army

The fundamental purpose of this essay is to explain how a Bystander Intervention can be used to battle sexual assault and harassment in your Unit, 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army. Bystander Intervention is “recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome” (Lehigh University 2017). “Why do sexual assaults occur? How can Bystander Intervention reduce the risk of sexual assault and sexual harassment? A variety of informational topics and sources, and How do we end sexual violence in the military?”, are the significant facts of this essay.

Considering sexual violence has been in the military for a very long time, it is time that we take a stand together, as a Unit, 10th mountain Division, as well as the United States Army, and step up and take part in bystander intervention to end sexual violence.

Sexual assault has no correct answer as to why it occurs. Studies and research continue to be rehearsed, theories are produced, but there is no doubt that sexual assault is still an issue.

The Army emphasizes that sexual assault is a heinous act, why does it still occur? The military’s Chain of Command and investigators could be a potential factor. The main source of communication is through its Chain of Command. It is like a pulley system, it acts both ways, information goes down and information goes up. At some point, information could get lost and not all information could reach its last individual.

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When it comes to sexual assault, there could potentially be a “hiccup” with the information that the victim has given, causing the chain of command to question what really happened.

That also leads to military investigators wondering what really happened. Because certain individuals may understand this, they bring it upon themselves to violate another individual. Many believe that the problem with using the Chain of Command is that it could act as a shield and yield soldiers from actually speaking out about their stories. As for military investigators, it seems they want everything verbatim, “what really did go on while the victim was being assaulted or harassed”. They don’t necessarily act as a jurisdiction, like the “real world”. “’People who engage in consensual sex do not present with those symptoms. This is exactly how these cases get swept under the rug. Facts are misrepresented by investigators and attorneys,’ Speedy said. Reyes said her ‘case was not straightforward’ but that after talking to military investigators, she believes ‘there is a preconceived notion what the story should sound like, what the timeline should look like and what the reaction should be.’” (Cohen 2018).

Bystander intervention would be an excellent way of battling the risk sexual violence throughout the military and its respected units. I strongly believe people are insecure about intervening when it comes to sexual violence and when they do see a potential threat, they begin to hinder. Sexual violence is a very touchy subject. Imagine being not just in the shoes of a victim, but in the shoes of someone wanting to intervene, but feeling completely incapable to do so. Sadly, we don’t always feel like a superhero with a cape on our back when witnessing uncomfortable scenarios of sexual violence.

However, bystander intervention can reduce the risk of sexual assault and harassment. It is important for soldiers to acknowledge that they can always play a role in prevention. “CARE is a four-step process to prevent sexual violence. The four steps are; Create a distraction, Act directly, Refer to an authority, and Enlist others” (Steps You Can Take to Prevent Sexual Assault 2019). If people felt more comfortable addressing a potential threat, I am certain statistics would show less sexual violence’s in units, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army.

Step Up! In units, 10th Mountain Division and the United States Army, it is important for us to step up and take part in bystander intervention. The Department of Defense released statistics of how many sexual assaults occurred in Fiscal Year 2017. They recorded that the number increased from Fiscal Year 2016. “6,769 reports of sexual assault involving Service members as either victims or subjects of criminal investigations throughout fiscal year 2017. This represents a 9.7 percent increase overall from the 6,172 reports made in fiscal year 2016.” (Department of Defense 2018) Throughout the article, the DOD also explains that a lot of reports aren’t always reported. Victims aren’t always quick to speak out, and that needs to change.

Speak Out! As victims, as influencers of bystander intervention, as soldiers, as fellow comrades, and as people, we need to speak out and let our stories be heard. This could easily help shrink the numbers of sexual violence in the military and in the world. We deserve a voice and we deserve our voices to be heard. To start the end of sexual violence, everyone must take a stand and educate themselves and those around on what could prevent sexual violence. I can tell you right now, one SHARP class a year is not going to slow these numbers down. SHARP is a topic that needs to be taken more seriously. Instead of sitting through slideshows of those similar to what we were first introduced to in Basic Combat Training, make the class more upbeat, but in a serious manor.

The problem starts with watching a slideshow we have seen multiple times before. “What is SHARP? What is Sexual Harrassment? What is Sexual Assault? What are the two types of reports?”, STOP! Instead, get the class involved as soon as they walk through that classroom door. Introduce the classroom to victims with stories. Introduce the classroom to bystanders who did intervene. Get the classroom involved with more than just a sign in sheet. Just because you sign your name and rank on a roster, doesn’t mean you, the student, are taking anything from the class. As the instructor, start the class with a series of questions. Enforce the mission and standard. Ensure soldiers are answering those questions.

By the end of the course, forget the applause. I can assure you that a majority of those students are clapping because the hour long class their unit sent them to, is now over. That is where the problem with SHARP continues. Before your students are dismissed, keep them involved with not an end of course critique, but an end of course assignment. Before your class is gone, make them write an essay on a question. “What is consent? What would you do to prevent sexual violence? Explain a scenario involving bystander intervention.” Etc. It is unfortunate to think that not everyone understands the sole purpose of these specific trainings, but maybe if things were taught differently, people would respond differently to sexual violence. It is time to make a difference.

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About Sexual Assault And Harassment In United States Army. (2022, May 10). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/about-sexual-assault-and-harassment-in-united-states-army/

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