SHARP - Why Men Do Not Report Sexual Assaults

595th Transportation Brigade
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Baker

Date: 03.14.2017
Posted: 03.14.2017 09:17
News ID: 226748
Why Men Do Not Report

I, the BDE SARC for the 595TH Transportation Brigade, conducted SHARP Senior Leaders Training on Male Victims during the 2nd quarter. I made mention that there are several reasons why males choose not to report but, focused on one particular reason that I recalled from hearing a speech by Russel Strand. A retired CID agent that has worked hand in hand with the SHARP program. Russell Strand recalled an interview of a Soldier that took place after a battle. The Soldier was asked, why he went over the hill knowing that the majority of his brothers and he could be shot and possibly killed. His response was because he did not want to look weak in front of the rest of the Soldiers.
Which prompted the question to the Soldiers and Civilians in the Brigade to when did it begin that men saw themselves as being weak or less than a man. Many of the male Soldiers and Civilians recalled when they were young boys they were told things like, not to cry after falling off their bikes because only babies cry or to stop acting like a girl because they were hurt.
Chaplain Andrew Parker shared his thoughts on why men do not report. “I fully agree with the idea that one factor is because men are taught not to express feelings and emotions. Most adult men struggle to be seen shedding a tear over something that should touch a person deeply such as loss of a child or a national tragedy. Men and women are vastly different beings. The hormonal disparity is often seen in the way each gender expresses emotions and feelings. I believe those variations are divinely planted. However, I also think cultural pressures shape men’s perceptions so it becomes challenging to express tenderness – “men need to always be tough.”
The cultural perception unfortunately equates tender feelings with weakness. Some perceive meekness in a man as soft and frail. The word meekness has evolved over time, but the biblical word for meekness is actually "power under control." When a man who could easily crush a flower pedal is able to caress it in his hand and appreciate its beauty he is exercising biblical meekness. There is control in his hand to avoid from crushing the flower. The same should be the focus of training for young men. A healthy view of masculinity is to grow up strong and rugged with self-control. A man who can tenderly caress a woman will appreciate both his strength and his meekness”.
For whatever the reason may be to why men do not report, SFC Baker believes that the more we receive training on male sexual assaults that men well continue to come forth because they know that through the SHARP program as well as their chains of command they will be supported and not looked upon as being weak but a man of courage.

Article by SFC Michael W Baker