August 28, 2020

GAO Accepts Duckworth Request for an Independent Review into the Army’s SHARP Program


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, released the following statement after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) officially accepted her request that the congressional watchdog conduct an independent review of the Army’s implementation and effectiveness of its Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program. Duckworth wrote to the GAO requesting this review after the murder of Private First Class (PFC) Vanessa Guillén and the subsequent outpouring from servicemembers sharing stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault and lack of confidence in their ability to get justice. SASC Ranking Member, U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, also joined as co-requester of this GAO review.

“Sexual assault and harassment is a crisis in our nation’s military that impacts the lives of far too many women and men in uniform. The military’s inability to address this problem fails survivors and harms our military’s readiness, recruitment and retention efforts. I’m thankful that GAO is conducting this important review into the effectiveness of the Army’s SHARP program and I look forward to working with the GAO on this vital oversight. We can and must do better to support survivors of sexual harassment and assault in our military.”