Misconceptions About Sexual Assault in the Military

misconceptions about sexual assault in the militaryThe Military Environment

In today’s military environment, every military member is required to attend training related to sexual assault response and sexual assault prevention, often referred to as “SARC” or “SHARP”. Sadly, the information provided in these training sessions is often inconsistent with military law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Inaccurate Information is Hurting Our Soldiers

The inaccurate information regarding the law that is provided to military members in this training can create significant problems for military members facing sexual assault allegations. Because of this training, court-martial panel members may be tainted by inaccurate and misleading legal definitions. One example of inaccurate information that is taught in these sessions is the statement often made in military training that, “Anyone who consumes even one alcoholic drink cannot consent to sexual activity.” In other words, military members are taught that it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with anyone who is consumed even one alcoholic beverage. This statement is not an accurate reflection of military law or the Uniform Code of Military Justice. However, this statement is made repeatedly in mandatory training sessions and can lead to a misunderstanding of the law.

The Law

In fact, the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was incapable of consent. In other words, they were so incapacitated by the consumption of alcohol they were no longer able to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. There is a clear difference between the law and the legal standard and the information repeatedly taught to military members.

The Help You Need

If you or someone you know is facing allegations of sexual assault in the military, it is critical that you work with a team of attorneys who understand not only the law but also military culture and the training being provided to military members, especially when it can cause unfortunate misunderstandings and lead to wrongful convictions in court-martial proceedings.

The attorneys of Crisp and Associates Military Law are the worldwide leaders in military justice and court-martial defense—period. Our attorneys consist of former military judge advocates, a law enforcement officer, and others all of whom have served in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, or worked closely with the other Uniformed Services. Our attorneys have handled every military law matter from a simple non-judicial counseling to defending Soldiers who appeared on the front pages of newspapers and magazines worldwide. They have been on both sides of the aisle: prosecution and defense. We have handled matters from Seaman Recruit to general and flag officers. They have served at every level of the chain of command from a platoon, ship and squadron to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. If you are facing adverse action, Non-Judicial Punishment, or court-martial, call Crisp and Associates, LLC for a free consultation and learn what it is like to have and advocate on your side that speaks the language of command.