The United States Army is the strongest force in the world compromised of both male and female soldiers, and strenuously requires all soldiers to be educated about sexual assault annually. With all the information that is provided about sexual assault, why does it still continue to rise in the Army? In fiscal year 2017, the Army continued to see an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported: 4.7 reports of sexual assault per 1,000 Soldiers, an increase from the fiscal year 2016 rate of 4.4 per 1,000 soldiers (Ferrell, Fiscal Year 2017 Sexual Assault Report).
Sexual Assault is an intentional sexual contact without the consent by the use of force, threat, intimidation, or abuse of one’s authority. It is a punishable act under Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Over the years, the Army has been working to bring forward ways of preventing sexual assault with program like Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP). Also, different ways of reporting the assault have been introduced to the soldiers that include restricted and unrestricted reporting; However, the actions taken for these reported cases are not always in favor of the victims. It is not guaranteed that even after the report has been made, the sexual perpetrator receives the appropriate punishment for the conviction.
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In many cases, due to lack of evidence against the accused or failure to identify the offender, the case gets dropped and never makes it to trial. According to the annual report released by Department of Defense, there were 4,779 subject case dispositions were reported to the department in fiscal year 2017 where the offender could not be identified (Ferdinando,
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