As a fellow Soldier and a former victim of sexual assault within military, this paper will discuss the improvements that can be done to the Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response and Prevention program (SHARP). SHARP is the military active effort to end sexual harassment/ assault in the military ranks. Why does SHARP occurs? What is the training we are doing? How are we ending it? These are the sub topics that we will go through to show why the program is so important.
As mentioned earlier, I am a former victim of a SHARP case back in 2016. It occurred back in Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as I was peer pressured into dating a fellow Soldier. Having been assault in front of everyone, not a single Soldier bother to help. They all kept saying that it was fine, since we were dating, that I was being racist and uneducated in the American culture. Since that day, I have never been the same.
The point of my story is that sexual harassment/ assaults can happen any time. That we need to train more on the SHARP program to younger Soldiers as they enter the military. Sexual harassments and assaults occur when Soldiers feel like they can get away with things due to they are dating the person, or when jokes goes too far. It is not just jokes aside, but as well as higher-ranking Soldiers that abuse their position and power. It takes one person to feel uncomfortable about a situation or what is being said for a SHARP case to happen.
The Army approach to SHARP training is usually death by power point. As training happens every quarter of the year, Soldiers are not taking it serious. The SHARP Representatives need to have more detail and be more professional when coming to demonstration/ play about the issue. The Army needs to post real life cases and the punishments of the perpetrator to show Soldiers that it is serious. Showing more real life cases and professional altitude, Soldiers will be able to understand the seriousness of SHARP.
Ending the violence of sexual harassments and assault is not an easy task. It first starts with showing everyone and using people as example that SHARP will not be taken lightly. Soldiers need to be aware of what they say and do around everyone. They need to feel that there is always someone there that might take it offensive. Inappropriate sayings and actions must be given punishments.