Alcohol abuse is a rampant problem within all branches of the U.S. military. It is also believed to be the primary factor behind the numerous sexual assaults reported within the military ranks (Castrol et al., 2015). In the military culture, as compared to the civilian sector, the service members consume alcohol at a rate that is three times higher (Castrol et al., 2015). In addition, the military environment can be remarkably stressful and as a result, numerous service members result in alcohol consumption to deal with the stress of war, combat, and everyday life (Castrol et al., 2015).
Over the last ten years, the Department of Defense has created programs such as SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention) among other programs and classes to combat the issue of sexual abuse in the military (Justin-Ryan, 2016). Nevertheless, the problem is still persistent within the military ranks (Justin-Ryan, 2016). According to a 2012 survey based on workplace and gender relations on active duty service members, 23% of females and 4% of males claimed to have experience harassment or attempted sexual assault (Farris & Hepner, 2014). These harassment cases were attributed to the alcohol abuse problem among the service members (Farris & Hepner, 2014). With substance abuse comes sexual aggression, which in turn can lead to sexual assault (Farris & Hepner, 2014). What can the military do to finally put an end to these issues?
The Department of Defense should employ different measures to attain definitive results in the future or a decrease in the number of sexual assault cases. For instance, the Department could develop programs that cater to both alcohol misuse and sexual assault issues contemporaneously. Overindulgence in alcohol consumption causes numerous persons to become emotionally vulnerable and more prone to being victimized through sexual assault. If we can get a better understanding of the who, what, when, where and why the sexual assault cases occur, then we can develop a better course of action to get to the root of the issue.
Abueg, J.-R. (2016). CAS: Political Science: Undergraduate Honors Theses: The Influence of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Program on Norms and Society in the United States Army. Retrieved from Boston University Libraries: https://open.bu.edu/handle/2144/16115
Castrol, C. A., Kintzle, S., Schuyler, A. C., Lucas, C. L. & Warner, C.H. (2015, May). Sexual Assault in the Military. Current Psychiatry Reports, 17(54), 1-13. doi:10.1007/s11920-015-0596-7
BIBLIOGRAPHY Farris, C. and Hepner, K. A. (2014). Targeting Alcohol Misuse: A Promising Strategy for Reducing Military Sexual Assaults? Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-538-OSD, 2014. As of September 12, 2016: retrieved from http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR538.html
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