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Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of SHARP Program

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SHARP: Effective or Not?

Sexual harassment and sexual assault incidents may be an apparent flaw that the Army is trying to eliminate, but it is a flaw that is nationwide. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), the military service received 7,623 sexual assault reports and 932 formal sexual harassment reports in FY18. In comparison, one in five women and one in 71 men will be sexually assaulted in their life nationwide according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). The military might be known for having high report/incident rates, but these statistics show that the prevention of sexual violence should be a focus in the U.S in general.

The culture that is today is the product of many generations of inequality, violence, and selfishness. Throughout history, women have been perceived as being weak and something to be achieved. Men are/were not afraid to get what they want, when they want it. This has stemmed out to feeling like one can overpower anyone they perceive as being weak; whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or sexually. It has also created a sense of entitlement; one thinking that they should have what they want no matter the cost. This part of our culture is what needs to change and it needs to start at a young age. Children need to be learning what is right and wrong including when it comes to equality and sexual encounters. Doing this would be a good start to changing the culture of the future; nationwide and in the military.

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Since implementing the SHARP program in 2009, I believe the number of incidents has gone down in the Army. Soldiers now understand the process of reporting and feel more comfortable reporting so report numbers have gone up, but Soldiers are also more aware of the consequences as well. The SHARP program was a good step to bringing awareness to the issue and informing Soldiers how to report. That is a very import asset, now more can be done moving forward.

Sexual violence will never be eliminated completely in the military. The best we can do is decrease the number of incidents and help educate Soldiers on what to do when it happens. Despite the training received, Soldiers are still not sure how the process works and do not feel comfortable reporting. There are multiple different aspects that could be changed but I will focus on one that I think could have a large impact. Assigning an MOS to SHARP and having one in each company would make a great impact on reporting and even prevention. Currently, SHARP representatives or VA’s are voluntary or “volun-told” which can cause Soldiers to have the wrong motive. A Soldier might become one only to advance their career; not necessarily because they care or are motivated about the program. Having one person that is solely focused and trained in SHARP will make it so that person knows exactly how to train Soldiers and what to do when Soldiers come to them. It will also be someone who wants it.

Sexual violence is a continuous plague in the military and our nation. It weakens the strength of what our military could be and should be. The teaching of equality and consent needs to be starting at a younger age to start influencing the culture of the future for better. The Army may not be able to drastically change the amount of sexual violence incidents right now, but they can help Soldiers know what to do and feel like it matters. Having someone who cares and is educated will help instill comfort in reporting and a safer, stronger Army.

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Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of SHARP Program. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of SHARP Program.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of SHARP Program. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Critical Analysis of the Effectiveness of SHARP Program [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
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