SHASH MEMBERSHIP ESSAY Ever since I was in 10th grade, I have been involved in some sort of sexual harassment/assault, battered women clinics, peace works missions. I feel that all victims should have a voice, and should be able to receive the help that they need. Unfortunately, many victims for many different reasons do not feel as though they can, or should come forward about what has happened to them. Why 10th grade? Well, when I was in tenth grade, I was in a health class, and one of our units focused on defining what sexual assault ment, and how to help those that have been. We were also told that if it ever happened to us, we should have a voice, and that there is and would be help available to us, and people to listen. I came foward about being sexualy abused while in foster care. I spent the first ten years of my life in foster care, and several times, I was sexually abused, by other children I was living with and sometimes, the adults that were supposed to be taking care of us. I was supposed to be in a better situation in foster care, then where I had come from. That was not the case, however, I didn’t put that together until many years later. For many years after foster care, I went to therapy’s to recover and adjust. I only ever talked about my issues, that I knew was wrong. I never talked about the sexual abuse I had taken. I didn’t know that it wasn’t the normal thing.It happend to me, and I saw it happening to the children around me. I didn’t have someone to talk to about what had happened, and then when I did, it had been so long, that I didn’t realize I had an issue. So when I heard these lectures in class, I spoke up, and I talked to my teacher about it, and then my therapist. I found the best way for me to cope with the baggage that followed me around was to help others in similar situation, so my teacher brought me to
Camp Peace Works. The mission at Peaceworks was to encourage young people to work together within the community that they lived to foster and sustain a multicultural society based on love, caring, and justice. The result that they cultivated was a community that was decreasing violence based off of love and support for others. I sat in several clinics with this organization, and saw first hand that just listening to someone who needs to talk is vital. So I started to really get involved. Nobody should have to go through any sort of harassment or assault, and unfortunately, some people in our society commit these types of acts. Volunteering at this Peaceworks camp, brought me into the organization behind it, which was Berks Women In Crisis, and they taught me that the physical, emotional, and psychological safety of all individuals is a basic human right. It also taught me that simple phrases that were being dropped on the daily, were not appropriate, and offended so many people, that I and many like me didn’t stop to think about. I enjoyed the work that I was able to do there, and when I joined the army, I knew that myself could set an example for the same values. I heard about the SARC program and the desire for volunteers and members, and I joined.
I see the need for this program to continue to grow in the Army, and I want to be part of the revolution that comes to the military, stopping the trend that has taken the military. So many people are watching the military and they hear about sexual harassment and assault in the military, they might see that if it is happening here, there is no hope for it to not happen in the civilian sector. As service members we have the entire nation looking at us, we need to set the example. I want to be part of that change. I