Behavioral Health

Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment

Last Updated: August 09, 2018
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National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise awareness and educate communities on the prevention of sexual violence. The Army, in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DOD), is implementing the new 2013 SAAM theme "We own it ... We'll solve it ... Together," which is designed to strengthen the collective moral and ethical commitment, in keeping with Army Values and Warrior Ethos, to show respect and dignity for every Soldier, Department of the Army Civilians, their family members, and the nation that the Army serves.

Sexual Harassment defined:

Sexual harassment can take many forms, ranging from persistent jokes of a sexual nature to physical assault.  It may involve unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or threats that you may lose your job or not be promoted.  Sexual harassment creates confusion because the boundary between professional roles and personal relationships can be blurred. 

Sexual Assault defined:

Sexual assault may include attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats.  Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, without that person's consent. Some types of sexual acts which fall into the category of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy, child molestation, incest and attempted rape.  Assailants can be strangers, friends, acquaintances and family members.  Assailants commit sexual assault by using violence, threats, manipulation or coercion.  Sexual assault happens without the person's consent, including if someone is unconscious or drugged.

Policy described:

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking have the potential to affect every Federal workplace across the United States. It is the policy of the Federal Government to promote the health and safety of its employees by acting to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking within the workplace and by providing support and assistance to Federal employees whose working lives are affected by such violence.  As the nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government should act as a model in responding to the effects of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the workplace.


OPM: Guidance for Agency-Specific Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policies External Link provides agencies with direction to enable them to fulfill the goals identified in the Presidential Memorandum on "Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce," which was issued on April 18, 2012.

OPM: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Policy Resource List External Link

DOD: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office External Link

Army: SHARP ProgramExternal Link

MEDCOM: SHARP ProgramExternal Link (AKO password protected)

National Sexual Violence Resource CenterExternal Link - Provides national leadership, consultation and technical assistance by generating and facilitating the development and flow of information on sexual violence intervention and prevention strategies. The NSVRC works to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, prevention efforts and the distribution of resources.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - National Women's Health Information Center:External Link 1-800-994-9662
Contact informationExternal Link for state and territory crisis centers, organizations and hotlines can be found on this website. 

Sexual Assault Products - Sexual assault posters and a tip card are available from the Health Information Products e-Catalog You may download the posters and include your local contact information or order them printed. 



Chief of Staff of the Army Message (SHARP website, Leader Overview)   External Link 

The Chief of Staff of the Army issued 5 Imperatives and the SHARP Top 10 as a directive to all leaders. The CSA's 5 Imperatives are to shape the way the Army frames sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and response challenges. Each is in alignment with the 2013 DoD SAPR Strategic Plan and drives Army actions.

The CSA's SHARP Top 10 is a summary of the Army's collective efforts and are intended to further individuals' and leaders' understanding and guide leader actions.  All Army leaders should be familiar with and have a plan of action to carry out the CSA's guidance.


The Chief of Staff of the Army's 5 Imperatives

The Chief of Staff of the Army established five imperatives to shape the way the Army frames this challenge and drive our actions. They are as follows:

1.Prevent offenders from committing crimes; provide compassionate care for victims; and protect rights and privacy of survivors.

2.Thoroughly and professionally investigate every allegation and take appropriate action.

3.Create a positive climate and environment of trust and respect in which every person can thrive and achieve their full potential.

4.Hold individuals, units and organizations, and commanders appropriately accountable.

5.Chain of command must be fully engaged - they are centrally responsible and accountable for solving the problems of sexual assault and sexual harassment within the ranks and restoring the trust of our Soldiers, Civilians, and Families.


SHARP Top 10

The CSA has also employed the SHARP Top 10 that are to be turned into leader actions:

1.Sexual assault and sexual harassment represents an insider threat with the potential to cause significant, irreparable harm to the Army.

2.The Army profession demands leaders of high competence and high character.

3.Standards and discipline are the cornerstones of unit climate 4.We must have consistency in the application of all policies.

5.We need to see ourselves; leaders must continually assess their environment.

6.Execute prevention, policy, training and education actions to get to the left of the incident 7.Obligation to protect and be advocates for victims, starting with the initial report until no longer required by the victim.

8.Professionally investigate each report and take appropriate action.

9.Create and maintain a positive command climate with trust and respect as the foundation.

10.This can only be solved by a committed chain of command led by commanders and command sergeants major.