This week the US Army is holding its 4th annual I. A.M. Strong Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) Summit. I am interested in learning more about the steps the Army is taking to prevent sexual violence. We know that sexual violence is a pervasive problem within the United States military. What I appreciate about the Army approach is that they recognize that culture change is necessary for effective rape prevention.
The Army’s I.A.M. Strong campaign asks soldiers to intervene, act and be motiviated to end sexual violence. In the goals for the summit, the Army seeks to “engag[e] all Soldiers and civilians in preventing sexual assaults before they occur.”
The goal is to eliminate incidents of sexual harassment and assault through a comprehensive program that centers on awareness and prevention, training and education, reporting options, timely responses, victim advocacy and accountability.
Previously CALCASA representatives (including myself) have spoken at this event several times; this year I will be be following it on Twitter (#SHARPSummit11). So far the Secretary of the Army John McHugh and White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal have spoken.
What do you think about this effort to prevent sexual violence? Can an institution such as the military change its culture to eliminate rape?