“How can you use bystander intervention to battle Sexual Assault/Harassment in
10TH Mountain Division.”
By: SPC Wilfred Velasco (RN 77)
Table of content
A. What is Sexual Harassment?
B. What is Sexual Assault?
II. Sexual Assault reporting options.
A. Why sexual assault occurs?
B. Restricted reporting.
C. Unrestricted reporting.
D. How can bystander intervention reduce the risk of sexual assault?
The Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program reinforces the Army’s mission to eliminate incidence of sexual harassment and sexual assault through a focus and concentrated effort that includes prevention, victim advocacy, response, training and education accountability and reporting. The mission of the program is to implement a culture where all soldiers, DoD civilians, contractors and family members treat each other with dignity and respect, and where members of our military community can survive without risk of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Sexual harassment is usually the initiator to sexual assault involving unwanted sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when it interferes with an individual’s with job performance, promotion, and pay, or when it contributes to the creation of a hostile work environment, and request for sexual favors. On the other, hand Sexual assault is the intentional sexual contact describe by the use of force, physical threat, or when the victim does not or cannot consent or request for sexual favors. It can occur without regards to genders, spousal relationship, or age of victim.
Sexual assault happens in the army because of soldier access to drug and alcohol consumption. (According to a report its estimate that 26,000 service members who experienced “unwanted sexual contact” that includes attempted rape, rape, and unwanted sexual touching out of which 12,100 were women and 13900 were men. Majority of this incidents involved drugs and alcohol consumption). (FRONTLINE: by Sarah Childress).
Sexual assault is a criminal offense punishable by state laws and the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The Department of the Army’s position on sexual assault is that it is not compatible with the Army’s high standards of professionalism, Army values,
discipline and will not be tolerated among superior. Sexual harassment, a foundation to sexual assault, will also not be tolerated. A climate that promotes this message is to be encouraged by Soldiers, DoD Civilian and contractors.
There are two types of reporting options. Soldiers and its family members, 18 years of age and older, are eligible for SHARP assistance and for restricted and unrestricted reporting options. The restricted (confidential) reporting option allow eligible individuals who have been sexually assaulted to get medical attention, to include a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE), advocacy assistances and counseling without triggering an official investigation. In order to file a restricted report, victims can only speak to Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) or SHARP, Chaplain, Victim Advocates (VA), and Medical Treatment Facility.
For Unrestricted reporting a person that wants to access services and hold the offender accountable. It involves command and law enforcement. Individuals can file an unrestricted report by speaking to command, SARCs or Vas, MTF Staff, and Law Enforcement.
Bystander intervention can reduce the risk of sexual assault and harassment by taking actions immediately and implementing standard prevention procedure. Measure safety not just assault. It means military leaders must change norms, not just administer justice. Education and training, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability.
We all have a responsibility to report sexual harassment and sexual assault as proud members of the army team, our values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage compel to say “NO” to sexual harassment and sexual assault. As members of our Army community, we must work together to eradicate the problem. We are duty bound to intervene, act and motivate. “NO MEANS NO”. Each one of us should stand up and say “I AM THE FORCE BEHIND THE FIGHT.”