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9-4. SHARP

The Army’s SHARP program exists so that the Army can prevent incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault before they occur.

When sexual harassment or sexual assault occurs, it is not only a direct violation of our Army Core Values and Warrior Ethos, but also an assault on what it means to serve in the Profession of Arms and the Army way of life - a life in which it is our duty to protect and take care of each other no matter the time, place, or circumstance.

As a band of brothers and sisters, we have a personal and professional duty to intervene and prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault.

I.A.M. STRONG: Intervene, Act, and Motivate (I. A.M.) STRONG is the Army's campaign to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault by engaging all Soldiers in preventing sexual harassment or assault before they occur.

As Soldiers and proud members of our team, we are duty bound to Intervene, Act, and Motivate others to stop sexual harassment and sexual assault and help foster an environment free of these behaviors.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. The following conditions are signs of sexual harassment.

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career, or

  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by a person is used as a basis for career or employment decisions affecting that person, or

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Note: “Workplace” is an expansive term for Soldiers and may include conduct on or off duty, 24 hours a day, on or off post.
Examples of Sexual Harassment:


  • Making sexual jokes, gestures, remarks, or innuendos.

  • Making comments about an individual’s appearance, body, clothing, or sexual behavior.

  • Spreading sexual rumors about an individual.

  • Persistent, unwanted requests for social (dates) or sexual activity.

  • Participating in sexually charged conversations.

  • Nonverbal:

  • Making and/or posting inappropriate sexual remarks to, or photos of, an Individual via social media sites, text message, or email.

  • Displaying pornographic material or sexual photos in the workplace.

  • Making a sexually offensive expression.

  • Conduct of a sexual nature intended to embarrass, intimidate, demean, or degrade.

Physical Contact:

  • Unwanted touching.

  • Intimidation (blocking or cornering someone in a sexual way).

The Right Response:

To determine if conduct falls under the category of sexual harassment, consider the following questions:

  • Is the behavior sexual in nature?

  • Is the behavior unwelcome?

  • Does the behavior create a hostile or offensive work environment?

  • Have sexual favors been demanded, requested, or suggested (especially as a condition of employment or career and job success)?

Your Options:

Suggested individual actions to deal with sexual harassment include:

Direct approach.

  • Indirect approach.

  • Third Party.

  • Report harassment to the Chain of Command.

  • File a formal Complaint.

If you are uncomfortable because of certain sexual remarks or behaviors, you should be assertive. In responding to behavior that is or may become sexual harassment, you should tell the person how you feel.

Describe what you do not like. Stay focused on the behavior and its impact. Clearly state what you want in the future. Tell any potential offender, “I do not want to hear that again” or, “Do not touch me again.”

If harassment continues after you have warned the harasser of their words and actions, go to your immediate superior unless that is the person doing the harassing.

In that case, go to his superior.

If appropriate action is not taken, you may want to go up the chain of command to an Equal Opportunity Advisor/Equal Opportunity Representative or SHARP representatives such as the SARC or Victim Advocate (VA).

You can always tell a chaplain and ask for help.

Sexual Assault is an act intended to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person characterized by the use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent.

The term includes a broad category of sexual offenses consisting of the following specific UCMJ offenses: rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit these offenses.

Sexual assault is a crime!

Examples of Sexual Assault may include:

  • Rape and nonconsensual sodomy.

  • Performing sexual acts or sexual contact with an individual who cannot give consent because he or she is sleeping/passed out or too impaired to consent due to alcohol or drugs and the condition is known or reasonably should have been known by the alleged offender.

  • Using physical threats or force in order to engage in sexual contact with an individual.

  • Performing sexual acts or sexual contact with an individual who has expressed lack of consent through words (e.g. said “no” or “stop”) or through conduct.

  • Sexual contact without permission, which can include fondling and hazing incidents.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The Army’s policy states that sexual assault is a criminal offense incompatible with the Army’s high standards of professionalism, discipline, and Army Values. Commanders and supervisors of perpetrators will take appropriate disciplinary action and/or administrative action.

Male and female Soldiers can commit rape.

The types of rape include physical and indirect force, date/acquaintance rape, and marital rape.

Your responsibility as a Soldier is to treat your fellow Soldiers the same as you would treat your buddy, or how you would prefer to be treated. This means if you see a Soldier in danger or trouble, you must take action.

What to do if you have been sexually assaulted

If you have been sexually assaulted or think you have been, go to a safe location away from the perpetrator.

If you want to talk with someone or want assistance, you have individuals who are ready to help. Make sure you understand the difference between a restricted and unrestricted report so that those you reach out to will understand your needs and can best assist you.
Restricted Report: Sexual assault victims who want to confidentially disclose a sexual assault without triggering an official investigation can contact a SARC/SHARP Specialist/VA, or a healthcare provider.

By filing a restricted report with these personnel, a victim can disclose the sexual assault without triggering an official investigation AND receive medical treatment, advocacy services, legal assistance, and counseling.

You can speak to a Chaplain and also maintain a restricted report. While a Chaplain cannot take a restricted report, Chaplains may not disclose privileged communication revealed in the practice of their ministry without the individual's informed consent. The Chaplain will report incidents of sexual assault to the SARC only with the victim’s consent.

Unrestricted Report: This option is for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, counseling, legal assistance, SARC/SHARP Specialist and VA assistance, and an official investigation of the crime.

When selecting unrestricted reporting, you may report the incident to the SARC/SHARP Specialist or VA, request healthcare providers to notify law enforcement, contact law enforcement yourself, or use current reporting channels, e.g., chain of command.

You can also call the DoD SAFE helpline at 877-995-5247 or your local installation helpline for further assistance.

Sex Rules

The Army has the following rules as both an awareness and reminder tool to keep you and your fellow Soldiers out of harm's way.

Rule No. 1: Sexual assault is a crime. Those in the Army found guilty of sexual assault could face a dishonorable discharge and up to 30 years in prison. Integrity. Do what’s right, legally and morally.

Rule No. 2: No always means no. Unless the individual says yes, the answer is always no. Loyalty. Remain true to your fellow Soldiers.

Rule No. 3: Without consent, it’s sexual assault. Never assume you have consent. Ask. Honor. Live up to the Army values with every choice you make.

Rule No. 4: Unwanted physical contact is wrong. Unwanted or inappropriate touching, patting, tickling, pinching, bumping, hugging, grabbing, rubbing, etc can be considered sexual assault. It’s simple really. Keep your hands off! Respect. Treat others with dignity and respect.

Rule No. 5: Sexually offensive remarks are sexual harassment. Verbal sexual harassment includes telling sexual jokes; whistling in a sexually suggestive manner; and describing certain attributes of one’s physical appearance in a sexual manner. Duty. Act in the best interest of your unit.

Rule No. 6: Silence doesn’t mean consent. Respect. Clarify; ask before acting.

Rule No. 7: Assess, discern and mitigate risk. Recognizing the warning signs of a potential sexual assault can help assure that it never happens. Selfless Service. Ensure your Battle Buddy’s safety.

Rule No. 8: Set the Standard of Conduct. Now that you’re a Soldier, you are held to a higher standard of conduct. Duty. Be and hold others accountable.

Rule No. 9: Stop sexual hazing, bullying and assault. All acts of sexual harassment or assault break the bond of trust between battle buddies and weakens the unit. Integrity. You are a Soldier, lead by example and stand up for what is right.

Rule No. 10: Be a leader; not a passive bystander. If you’re ever in a situation where you witness someone sexually harassed or assaulted, it is your obligation to have the Personal Courage to intervene. Personal Courage. Intervene, Act and Motivate.

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