NEWS | April 19, 2021

‘Protecting Our people Protects Our Mission’ SHARP reporting procedures highlighted

By Coutesy Story U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are corrosive acts that degrade Army readiness.

As such, we must all do our part to live the Army values and foster an environment of dignity and respect. The Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Program reinforces this expectation and implements preventive measures to reduce sexual harassment, sexual assault and retaliation incidents.

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is recognized in April every year by both civilian and military communities. It’s a time to reflect on the significance of how “Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission” – this year’s theme.


Ensuring Soldier, civilian and family readiness requires all employees to assess their environment and know, understand and follow the proper reporting procedures summarized below.

Civilians
Army civilians reporting a sexual harassment incident have the right to pursue administrative remedies through their command/supervisor and the equal employment opportunity complaint process.

The employee must contact the EEO Office within 45 calendar days of recognizing a sexual harassment event to initiate the complaint. For reports of sexual assault, all civilian employees must contact their command SHARP Office to ensure that proper personnel are notified of the incident and advocacy resources are rendered to the victim.

It is important to note that civilians only have the unrestricted option when reporting a case. Unrestricted reporting allows a victim to seek and receive medical treatment, counseling, advocacy services and an official investigation of the sexual assault.

Those who commit sexual assault offenses will be held accountable and prosecuted under applicable federal or state laws.

Soldiers
Soldiers wishing to report sexual harassment have three options when filing a report: anonymous, informal or formal.

The anonymous option allows the individual to report the sexual harassment allegation while remaining anonymous.
The informal complaint option focuses on confronting the offender to express that the behavior is not appreciated, requesting assistance from another person to talk to the offender, or reporting the behavior to your immediate supervisor.

When using the formal complaint option, the complaint should be filed with the Soldier’s brigade-level sexual assault response coordinator or higher-level SARC. Soldiers have 60 calendar days from the date of the latest incident to file a formal complaint.

It is important to remember that harassment based on sexual orientation is an equal opportunity issue, but sexual harassment is a SHARP issue, regardless of orientation.

Soldiers wishing to report sexual assault have two options for filing a report: restricted or unrestricted.

Restricted reporting is an option for a sexual assault victim to confidentially disclose details of his/her sexual assault to specifically identified personnel without triggering the investigative process. Restricted reporting also allows the victim access to medical treatment, counseling, and the right to consult with a special victim counsel and advocacy services.

Filing an unrestricted report will initiate an official investigation, where details of the incident are limited to personnel with a legitimate need to know. When filing either report, Soldiers must report to their SARC, victim advocate or healthcare personnel. Please understand that if a Soldier files a restricted report then discloses an incident to any other source, including the chain of command or law enforcement, it will change the report to unrestricted.

This month, take a moment to review SHARP resources and renew your personal commitment to eliminate sexual violence across the force. Together, we can make a difference!