Sexual Assault In The Military
The number of cases is rising because more soldiers are getting comfortable with their command to feel like they will have appropriate actions taken when it comes to their complaints. In 2019, there was an estimate of 6,236 reported sexual assault cases, which is an increase of 3% from 2018. My objective for writing this essay is to inform on how and why the sexual assault cases have increased and what we can do to help and further prevent it.
Stated in a military times article, “...younger troops say it is their mid-level enlisted leaders who are sometimes failing to set the tone and police unacceptable behavior.” When leaders do not care or correct behaviors around them it creates an unhealthy and inappropriate environment. The current “leadership development training” seems to be working to reduce the risk of sexual assault, as soldiers have shown to accept the severity of a problem and be willing to intervene when a complaint is made.
Leaders pave the way for what is to be expected of soldiers, if they do not show a care for what is happening and do not take appropriate action, it allows for unsuitable comments, jokes, and other concerning behavior to happen without consequences. This quote from Slate.com, “So, if you saw a naked, drunk girl on the bench outside your barracks, would you hit that? You’re not supposed to. But I probably would,” is made by a senior male officer, proving it needs to be taken seriously or there will continue to be a risk for sexual assault.
There are many ways to try and combat the risk for sexual assault. Firstly, the army can hold men and women to the same standard, inside and outside of the workplace. Seeing as the two genders are not greatly separated when it comes to barracks, it also has room for improvement. Another way to try and combat it would be to hold more significant consequences, meaning to make sure the party at fault is not just getting a slap on the back.
In conclusion, sexual assault in the army is a very real issue. However, new training regiments are being implemented. Leaders need to be held accountable for stepping up for their soldiers and showing they care in these trying situations. Make sexual assault more of a communicated issue, if you do not check in enough and show true care, nothing will get solved.