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According to AR 600-20, Chapter 7 and 8 state that anything that are in the lines of sexual discrimination and intentional sexual contact are related to sexual harassment and assault. I have asked myself the same question many ask themselves. Why does sexual harassment and assault keep happening in the Army? Now knowing this, I will be discussing a few facts and opinions on this subject.
In order to understand why this keeps happening, you have to start from the root. Soldiers are required to attend SHARP (Sexual Harassment and Assault Program) classes annually to keep them aware and alert of the ongoing problem. From personal experiences, I am aware that subordinates are not there willingly, but their there because they have to. Therefore, causes the subordinates to have lack of motivation to be there. Also, on top of that, soldiers are being discouraged only because the instructor managed to put minimum effort on the subject he was supposed to be proficient at. I believe that most of these cases of sexual assault and harassment happen due to the very simple aspect of lack of motivation.
My experience as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in the Army also has made me understand the fact why soldiers walk around so demoralized. Continuously getting out late from work leads soldiers to enter the world of depression. Most cases of sexual assault and harassment happen when soldiers are under the influence of alcohol. When you are able to combine depression and alcohol together, you can almost be certain that the outcome will never be safe. This can lead to mistakes that may have not been intentional. Though it would not matter if it was intentional or not, the mistake has already occured .
As I interviewed someone that is currently going through this problem, they stated that the only reason they didn’t report it was because they didn’t want to go through the process. In fact they stated that it would just be easier to forgive and forget rather than to bring it to the attention of authorities. With less soldiers reporting their incidente, this makes it easier for other to take advantage. This results into more people violating other and getting away with it. Making and encouraging someone to repeat this mistake over again. Later, only leaving behind a unsafe and hostile environment.
In conclusion, with all of these facts, this leads me to believe that this ongoing problem of sexual assault and harassment will never be resolved. With the Army’s fast moving paste, soldiers that are not willing to stand up for their rights will just eventually get over looked. This will result on soldiers not being mission capable, and eventually just in up being a hazard to the organization. As part of the Army’s SHARP Program, commanders have the ultimate responsibility for command climate and culture, safety, prevention and response efforts, accountability, assessment, and safe reporting.
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