Why Does Sexual Assault Occur In The Army Essay

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The military, perceived as the most powerful force in the world, is made up of men and women soldiers and the amount of Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) trainings. However, why is the number of sexual harassment and assault cases in the military drastically growing every year? During the fiscal year of 2018, the percentage of women who reported sexual attack increased from 4.3 percent to 6.2 percent, while the number of allegations from men remained fairly constant at 0.7 percent, implying that about 13,000 women and 7,500 men suffered some type of contact or penetrative sexual assault. This is 5,600 more cases than in two years. This essay will present the reasons why sexual assault is still recurring in the Army, analyze whether training decreases the risk and probability of sexual assault and harassment, and what can be done to put an end to sexual violence in the foreseeable future.

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Why do sexual assaults happen in the Army

The most frequently asked question by people associated with armed service is: “Why do sexual assaults happen?”. There are many paths to resolving this question, but I will begin by saying that not every victim is accountable for the sexual attacks occurring. More frequently, the offender constantly feels his will and uses his authority and control to commit sexual assaults. We mostly observe that the perpetrator, regardless of whether it is a man or a woman, has a feeling of inequality towards the other sex, which implies that he or she may treat the victim with less respect or not consider the victim at all. Time and again people discover reasons to justify the causes of sexual violence, and the primary one is gender inequality. However, this is a flawed method of thinking because the stereotype of gender inequality is very distorted. This perception frequently focuses more on a man assaulting a woman and less on a woman assaulting a man or vice versa, a man attacking a man. In the Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military for Fiscal year 2018, we find that more allegations are made by female service members between the ages of 17 to 24, but could this be due to the fact that men are more inclined not to report sexual assault. This is because men tend to perceive an act of sexual violence as hazing, abuse, physical violence or simply an act of degradation rather than an act of sexual harassment or assault. Reports from the Department of Defense indicate that 27 percent of men view the incident as hazing and 39 percent describe it as mockery.

The significance of SHARP training

The second crucial issue to work with is what is the value of SHARP training and does it decrease the probability of sexual assault and harassment? The significance of SHARP training is to provide a broad range of knowledge and make soldiers understand what behaviors may or may not be a type of harassment or assault. It equally describes what acts are forms of sexual violence. The primary goal of holding SHARP training each year is to reduce the number of cases, as well as to make sure that every soldier experiences a feeling of respect and dignity. When SHARP training is delivered creatively rather than through conventional presentations, it is more impactful and captures the attention of the soldier. If the training is delivered through slides in a presentation, it often gets too boring, which results in more soldiers tending not to attend.

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Effective ways to deal with sexual assaults in the Army

We need to discover effective ways to be able to put an end to sexual abuse. Bearing in mind that the army is considerably expanding and strengthening, and that women are a minority in the military, I consider that if women soldiers keep entering the military service, it will significantly reduce the threat of sexual violence. The armed forces are inevitably developing. For instance, the women currently admitted carrying combat weapons represent a small percentage of female service members, and they are essential to change the dynamics and culture of our army. Altering the dynamics will lead to fewer incidents and reports. For illustration, the number of women in our ranks is growing every day: US Air Force General Janet Wolfenbarger is known as the second woman to be promoted to the rank of four-star general.


Therefore, this essay analyzed why sexual assault takes place in the military, whether training helps reduce sexual assault and harassment, and how an organization can bring an end to sexual violence. With SHARP standing for the most familiar abbreviation in every soldier’s military service, reducing sexual assault is imperative. As America’s most powerful military, our emphasis should be more on combating and winning wars, not on dealing with the increase of sexual assaults in our organizations. Training is conducted and knowledge is provided, so there are no excuses for soldiers’ careless treatment of SHARP.

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