Sexual assault crime is increasingly becoming a major problem affecting the various segments of the society. Sexual assault involves the sexual contact, such as kissing, touching, sexual intercourse, rape and physical restraint, which comes without victim’s consent. This crime undermines people’s morale, degrades them emotionally, and has psychological effect and physical trauma. Consequently, this has raised an alarm for a program that should eliminate this ruthless and inhuman crime. The program should especially focus on the extended family where women, young girls and children are in most cases the victims of sexual assault. Both children and women are more vulnerable to sexual abuse than men are because they do not have the power over what happens in most society (Gehring, Debry & Smith, 2001). They also tend to obey and trust the members of the extended family, whom later abuses them. Therefore, the sexual assault prevention and response program was developed to cover the extended family system in the society. With this program, sexual assault crime would be mitigated within the different segments of the society.
The mission of the sexual assault prevention and response program is focused on the eradication of the sexual assault crime from the society, and if the crime occurs, the program will provide instantaneous and empathetic victim support. The program will also provide an intermediation and responsive reporting support, and offer professional and timely investigation to identify those who are involved in the crime. In addition, the program will ensure accountability for the individuals who are directly and indirectly involved in practicing this crime. Collaborating with the authority and community to give assault-prevention training is also one of the program’s core values.
Program design process
The sexual assault program was designed through the goals and the objectives regarding prevention and elimination of the sexual assault crime. The goals in the developed program involved immeasurable and general statement that guided the design of the program. The goal of the program involved;-
- Bring down the cultural prejudice of behaviors or sexual assault that facilitate the sexual assault crime (Bullard, 2011).
- Establish strong prevention culture
- Ensure that the direct and indirect offenders of the sexual assault in the community are held accountable for their crime. Thus, the program has to establish capacity and ability for reporting, investigation, and prosecution of the crime
- Improve the quality and availability of response support for the victims of the sexual assault crime
On the other hand, the objectives were formulated to provide insight for the program design. These objectives involved;-
- Develop an active and effective leadership that promotes intrusive direction towards prevention of the sexual assault
- Mitigate vulnerabilities and risks connected to the sexual assault crime through effective leader oversight, social responsibility, team cohesion, awareness of responsible alcohol consumption, and established social norms
- Classification of incidents through improved partnership with the Civil Rights Directorate to enhance coordination of reporting and training
- Eradicating the stigma involved in reporting a sexual assault incidents and search for support if the assault happened.
The second step in the research design process involved integrating research elements into the process (Bullard, 2011). The theoretical framework, practice and research elements were used to explain the assumptions, objectives, goals and the activities of a sexual assault program. In order to hold the proprietors responsible, the members of the society and the program stakeholder must develop an understanding of the sexual assault through the developed theories and models. For instance, under psychopathology model, rapists are considered as chemically imbalanced or mentally ill persons who committed crime because they are unable to control their sexual pressure (Minnesota & Minnesota, 2004). Considering rapists as the products of illness, the model suggests various methods to mitigate them. These techniques include psychotherapy, castration, electric shock, and hormone injection.
Another biological theorist suggests that there exist no gene, in men, that facilitates rape, and the inclination to rape might be because of evolution. These theorists argue that men who are inclined to rape may have more reproductive advantage that results to widespread disposition to rape among men. Other theorists suggest that this inclination to rape cannot be considered as an adaptation itself, but the secondary consequence of the reproductive adaptations, such as quest of having multiple sexual partners.
The final step in the design process of this program was the implementation of the program through a pilot program. This was initially done by noting the regular progress and events. The study was conducted to determine the occurrence of sexual assault cases and the procedures taken to respond to the assault (Minnesota & Minnesota, 2004). This study indicated that the majority of the assaulted individuals are children, young adult female and women, especially from the extended family. The survey continued revealing that, there are minimal or no response to support and help the victims. This is because the offenders happen to come from the same family as the victims, hence this seems to be more of family issue than the community issue.
The program conducts extensive research aimed at designing and delivering educational conferences that help in plummeting gender-based violence. Has a team of qualified experts who conduct the training to inform persons on their rights and responsibilities as far as sexual assault is concerned. The individuals also collaborate with other community groups to extend crisis response and deliver individual support services. Such services include food, medication and education to survivors.
Its highly trained faculty oversees the operation of the program by ensuring that those found guilty of sexual offences face the law (Bullard, 2011). This discourages other members of the society from engaging in sexual related crimes.
Provide leadership for the expansion and use of community sexual assault retort program. Additionally, it delivers its services by evaluating community’s knowledge, making policy and program recommendations.
Coordinate community resources to support persons who have experienced sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence, and sexual harassment (Bullard, 2011). It ensures that the resources are prudently used for the benefit of the society by handling the resources in an accountable manner. It prepares and submit grant application and administer grants received for sexual assault prevention, response and education services.
The program fine-tunes its prevention guidance and response strategies to help the community understand their roles in sexual assault prevention and the proper channels to be followed in the pursuit of justice once an assault is committed.
Intervention strategies used in this program
- Education and awareness: The program uses this major strategy in its intervention. It invests heavily on education of victims and other members of the society to reduce the possibility of them being sexually assaulted (Bullard, 2011). Additionally, it increases the society’s knowledge and informs them on the right procedure to be followed once one is sexually assaulted or receives information regarding sexual assault. It strongly believes on improved sexual education and sexual awareness for the reduction and eradication of sexual related crimes. Offenders’ rejuvenation is a matter of concern that greatly helps the program to reduce sexual assault in the contemporary society.
- Prevention: The program aims at preventing the occurrence or recurrence of sexual assault. It formulates and implements policies aimed at preventing or discouraging people from engaging in sexual assault (Minnesota & Minnesota, 2004). Such policies advocate for severe chastisement for those found remorseful of sexual crimes, thus panicking other persons who had the objective of committing similar delinquencies.
- Victim Care and Resiliency: The program takes care of victims and survivors. As the victims regain their preceding condition and esteem, the program intervenes by offering the inevitabilities required for the victim’s survival. They are treated from depression and other related illnesses to ensure that any emotional or psychological effect of the trauma is eradicated.
- Investigation and Adjudication: Reported cases of sexual assault are investigated to determine those involved and the degree of the damage (Bullard, 2011). The report is then presented to adjudicators for adjudication and a decision regarding the necessary action to be taken is made. The names of the accused are released to members of the public via the media. The adjudicators link with courts to ensure that those found guilty of sexual offences are held accountable of their actions.
- Cultural change: cultural beliefs contribute to sexual assault since many of the cultures consider women as sex objects not entitled to any decision. Additionally, male chauvinism is so high in many societies. The program seeks to change such cultures and foster intercultural association. It aims at establishing cultures that are against sexual maltreatment. It fosters the development of intercultural proficiencies essential for evocative residency in an increasingly multifaceted and enlightened society.
Evaluation of the program involves comparing its current performance with the set objectives to discover whether there is a deviation or not. The results of its implementation are evaluated to ascertain if there is any relevant change in sexual related crimes. It is also evaluated on its aptitude to improve the social welfare.
Program effectiveness or ineffectiveness
The successfulness of the program is indicated by its ability to reduce the percentage of sexual related crimes in particular regions within a year. For example, its success is demonstrated by its ability to reduce female victims at risk from 85% to 40%, and victims in the age of 20-25 years from 51% to 27% (Bullard, 2011). It can also be evaluated by its ability to reduce the number of alleged male perpetrators from 94% to 28%. It's ability, for instance, to reduce the instances of sexual assault by 49% is also an indication of the program’s success. The most outstanding is to determine how informed or aware the society is as far as matters of sexual assault are concerned (Minnesota & Minnesota, 2004). A well-educated and informed society indicates that the program is considerably effective and successful.
Improvement in sexual assault accountability, victim advocacy measures and climate change confirms that victim response and safety is improving hence the program is benefiting the immediate as well as the general community. Its aptitude to provide effective and efficient service providers in the society is also a proper indication of the program’s accomplishment.
The sexual assault prevention and response program elucidated herein is very appropriate in reducing sexual assault. Its implementation shall to a large extend reduce the number of sexual related crimes and increase the overall prosperity of the society. It, however, calls for a massive commitment in terms of financial and human resource if it has to succeed. However, states should consider executing it to exterminate sexual crimes in diverse sections of the society.
Bullard, T. (2011). Strengthening Our Suspect-Focus: How the Department of Defense Can Improve Its Approach to Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. Maxwell AFB, Ala: Air War College.
Gehring, T. M., Debry, M., & Smith, P. K. (2001). The Family System Test FAST: Theory and application. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge.
Minnesota, & Minnesota (2004). A report from the Interagency Task Force on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention. St. Paul, Minn.?: Minnesota Office of Justice Programs.