Why Does the Number of Sexual Assaults Continue to Increase throughout The Army


Why Does the Number of Sexual Assaults Continue to Increase throughout The Army?
SPC Xu, Haitong
Joint Base Lewis-McChord
BLC Class 18-09
Roster # 21
Why Does the Number of Sexual Assaults Continue to Increase throughout The Army?
“Human relations training directly affect individual and unit readiness. Training commanders and Soldiers to treat one another with dignity and respect achieves better morale, greater commitment increased trust and cohesion, and better performance.”
— Army Regulation 600-20
Sexual assault takes away individual and unit readiness. It still remains a persistent problem throughout the United States Army. From 2,516 in FY 2015 to 2,497 in FY 2016 to 2,706 in FY 2017, the total reporting number of sexual assault is increasing, overall. These increasing numbers also indicate that with current supporting programs and channels, more and more victims choose to use the power of individual voice — break the silence, speak up, and fight back. In my essay, I want to briefly explain the reason why I think sexual assault occurs and what we can do to reduce and eventually end sexual violence in the military.

One of the main reasons sexual assaults occur is that Soldiers join the Army with various cultural backgrounds and different education levels. All these bring to different awareness levels on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. The Army SHARP program office is currently developing “Mind’s Eye 2”, a new primary prevention initiative to increase individual awareness.

According to the Department of Defense Annual Report — Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, E1-E4 female service members comprised the largest single grouping of complainants, and most of sexual assaults happened from midnight to 0600. The offenders most of the time are not strangers. Commanders should start to focus on how to improve Sponsorship Program especially for Soldiers who are brand new to the Army. The SHARP representative from 13 CSSB also mentioned that CQ and Staff Duty should start walking through barracks from midnight to 0600.

Starting from 2016, combat MOSs started opening to both male and female. It is every Soldier’s responsibility and duty to hold hands together to build a professional workplace for this gender-integrated organization. For individual Army Soldier, start taking SHARP training seriously, and do not think that sexual assault is far away. Don’t be a bystander. Say something to correct your battle buddy if you see something wrong. Talk to your designated SHARP representative in your unit and try to be one, so that you can train and educate your Soldiers.
The U.S. Army Soldiers should treat one another with dignity and respect, live the Army Values, and proudly say “This We’ll Defend”. The United States Army is leaning on every one of the Army Soldiers to build a safe, healthy, and professional workplace environment. The United States of America is leaning on the Army to fight and win our Nation’s wars.

References
Department of the Army. (2014). AR 600-20: Army Command Policy
Personal Interview with 13CSSB SHARP Representative. (2018)
Department of Defense. (2018). Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. Retrieved from http://sapr.mil/public/docs/reports/FY17_Annual/DoD_FY17_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military.pdf