Fort Bragg's new sexual assault awareness event features a soldier chained to a chair in an 'escape room'

news

To tackle the ever-present problem of sexual assault in the U.S. military, Fort Bragg is hosting an "escape room"-style event this week during which a soldier will be chained to a chair.

This seems ... ill-advised.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Ashley Savage, spokesperson for the16th Military Police Brigade, told Task & Purpose that the escape room is a "training event," meant to bring soldiers together to "ensure important elements of the SHARP [Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention] program are understood."

In the conference room where the escape room plays out, a soldier is chained to a chair with four locks. To unlock the chains, the soldier's team members must answer a series of questions regarding SHARP.

For example, Savage said, the on-post SHARP hotline number would unlock one of the locks.

"Think of it as a puzzle room," Savage told Task & Purpose. "And with that, gaining resources of different types of reporting ... other information a soldier can use if a sexual assault were to happen, so they can be empowered to know how and when to report."

Savage said she spoke to the first team of soldiers to do the escape room on Monday morning, who told her it was "good training because it made them get into the regulations and understand things" better.

This comes a couple of weeks after the Army kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with a "cake cutting ceremony and declaration signing," which didn't go over well with at least one Army reserve battalion commander.

Meanwhile, at the Air Force Academy, cadets will be required to wear jeans on April 24 to raise awareness of sexual assault. According to The Gazette in Colorado, "Denim Day" stems from a 1998 Italian court ruling which "overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans."

The Brigade's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pitts, told Task & Purpose that as of Monday afternoon, six teams (31 soldiers) had completed training in the room.

Pitts said he and the Brigade Equal Opportunity NCO used command climate surveys "to determine where we could enhance understanding of the SHARP program. The questions in our escape room were derived from these surveys."

While using an escape room to engage soldiers on SHARP seems well-intention, the idea of chaining someone to a chair in an exercise revolving around sexual assault is a questionable one. But as Army Times reported, the idea is for soldiers to "help their buddy escape the chains of sexual harassment and assault."

So there's that, I guess.

SEE ALSO: Sexual Assaults At Military Service Academies Up Nearly 50 Percent Over 2 Years, Pentagon Finds

WATCH NEXT: Sen. Martha McSally Discloses Her Air Force Sexual Assault

(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Paige Behringer)
Jeff Schogol

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.

Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.

Read More Show Less

U.S. Special Operations Command may be on the verge of making the dream of flying infantry soldiers a reality, but the French may very well beat them to it.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron shared an unusual video showing a man on a flying platform — widely characterized as a "hoverboard" — maneuvering through the skies above the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris armed with what appears to be a dummy firearm.

The video was accompanied with a simple message of "Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante," which translates to "proud of our army, modern and innovative," suggesting that the French Armed Forces may be eyeing the unusual vehicle for potential military applications.

Read More Show Less
(New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen)

If you've ever wondered if the Pentagon has ever exposed the American public to ticks infected with biological weapons, you're not alone.

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act would require the Defense Department Inspector General's Office to find out if the U.S. military experimented with using ticks and other insects as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975.

If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."

Read More Show Less

There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.

For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.

Read More Show Less
(Facebook photo)

The Air Force has administratively separated the Nellis Air Force Base sergeant who was investigated for making racist comments about her subordinates in a video that went viral last year, Task & Purpose has learned.

Read More Show Less