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Rise of Sexual Assault Violations despite SHARP Program: Analytical Essay

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Why do sexual assault (SHARP) violations keep rising despite all the training?

SHARP stands for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention. Sexual assault has captured the attention of the media for a long time. It is persistent in the Army and does not seem to stop soon. SHARP violation rises in the army regardless of all the training.

The report has indicated that the most incidences of sexual harassment occur in the military and the airbases. Workers in this field experience incidences of sexual harassment from their seniors and their colleagues (Stander and Thomsen 25). The perpetrators take advantage of the location that they are in and carry out their acts. Additionally, many such cases are reported, but the perpetrators do not face the necessary prosecution. Therefore, as this is the trend, some victims prefer to suffer in silence. They know that even if they speak out, their victims will go unpunished (Thomas).

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For instance, in 2017, the number of reports amounted to 6,769 cases, and they involved service members. In 2016, the number of cases that were 6,172. However, the number of people who got a prosecution for their action was less. 2,218 commanders had taken action. Out of this number, only 1,446 received action on their sexual assault charges (Ferdinando). A small fraction of this number, 3.54% entered the court-martial process. As much as such cases entered the process, there was not enough evidence for prosecution. The victims just got disciplinary actions from their commanders, which is not enough. They are likely to carry out the same acts soon (Stander and Thomsen 27).

In conclusion, the major reason why SHARP violation rise is because as much as many cases are reported, few people are prosecuted because of this action. Some perpetrators go unpunished because their commanders have the powers to stop the pursuit of the allegations. Therefore, in many instances, these people take advantage to carry on with these acts. After all, they know that they will not face the prosecution.


  1. Ferdinando, Lisa. “DoD Releases Annual Report on Sexual Assault in Military.” May 1, 2018.
  2. Stander, Valerie A., and Cynthia J. Thomsen. 'Sexual harassment and assault in the US military: a review of policy and research trends.' Military Medicine 181.suppl_1 (2016): 20-27.
  3. Thomas, Connie L., et al. 'Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and physical activity among US military service members in the Millennium Cohort Study.' Journal of interpersonal violence (2019): 0886260519832904.
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