Increased Sexual Assault in the Military Social Sciences Essay (Essay Sample)
Increased Sexual Assault in the Military
Sexual assault has been cancer for years and while studies suggest that these cases manifest themselves more amongst civilians, sexual assault has had significant and unique detrimental effects in the military. Where people are expected to live under a strict code of conduct and salute seniority, one case of sexual assault in such a society is deemed unacceptable. Hideous incidents of sexual assault negatively impact morale, damage team cohesion, abuse and disrespect the rank and chain of command, and taint the military as a whole. Trust is one of the foundational elements that hold a military unit together, instilled in service members during training and they are expected to uphold it all along with their service life. Sexual assault in the army destroys this trust thus distracting the goal of the military. To prevent this, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) was established and was tasked to eliminate sexual assault and harassment through awareness, training, accountability, and victim advocacy. Despite the evident success, SHARP has also had numerous issues along the path of achieving its objectives.
Yearly SHARP briefs have been nothing but another item on the military check-list. Leaders during these briefs take time to gloss over just for the sake of going down on record that the brief happened. These leaders neither understand the benefits of such briefs nor do they understand that these problems come from those on top of the food chains and not the juniors. The question of how a junior officer is commanded to intervene in an assault or harassment while the sexual comments come from the leaders holds ground. Leaders fail to take into consideration that they are the kings of the castle, and they need to step up and be the leaders that they purport to be. Failure to stepping up has been a key issue that has derailed SHARP achievements.
Sexual assault has always been associated with power, but we all can agree that attraction will precede any form of power exerted. Direct assault does not just occur but is preceded by complements and looks CITATION Lie17 \l 1033 (Brightside, 2017). As individuals are allowed to get away with these preceding minor issues, power is born and thus the illusion that they are unaccountable for their actions. Upon expression of these minor comments from a senior male officer, the junior female must decide on what actions to take best of which would be to report. Choosing to report opens to one big risk and uncertainty, what if her leadership will not believe her? The dynamics of power would likely play in favor of the senior. This becomes a challenge since cases reported as assaults will not be the actual cases on the ground. Sexual and harassment cases are underreported due to fear of getting blowbacks. Since leaders share the same table, they got each other’s back CITATION Adi14 \l 1033 (Dobkin, 2014). This intimidates junior officers from coming forward fearing that their leaders will not consider their case against a senior officer. They remain adamant to do so and in turn suffer silently, living in fear and mistrust of seniors.
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