The US Military's Sexual-Assault Problem

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In the past, military news typically evolved tragic training incidents or deaths during overseas combat. However, over the last several years many incidents involving military personnel and sexual assault have made headlines across the United States. Military women and men have brought to light the lack of justice for victims of sexual assault, and the prevalence of such attacks. Questions arise as to why victims do not report incidents or seek assistance when they are physically or sexually assaulted. Many reasons are due to how the system of reporting is established within the military, retaliation and further re-victimization within the chain of command. Modifications to the current system have begun within the Department of Defense and future changes are probable. Overall sexual assault has been beheld as a coercive or forced act against another person whether in the form of sexual penetration or unwanted contact against the victim. However, the military has a term for sexual assault which is military sexual trauma. Military sexual trauma has some implications for the victim that do not necessarily apply to a civilian being sexually assaulted. First, many of the victims of military sexual trauma are acquainted with the assailant because they are members of the same squadron or are a commanding officer. These are individuals they must work with daily and unlike civilians have little option of removing themselves from that location especially if deployed overseas (Burns, Grindlay, Holt, Manski, & Grossman, 2014). Other differences between civilian and military sexual trauma has to do with availability of proper medical and psychological treatment for victims. Many military victims do not necessarily have the anonymity as civilia... ... middle of paper ... ...l trauma among U.S. servicewomen during deployment: A qualitative study. American Journal of Public Health, 104(2), 345-349. Krul, K. A. (2008). The sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) program: In need of more prevention. Army Law, 41. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from LexisNexis . Oppel Jr, R. A. (2014, February 14). Lead prosecutor's abrupt departure rattles a military sexual assault case. The NewYork Times, p. A10. Schneider, C. (2013, June). Military sexual trauma captures the spotlight. Tribune Business News. Towell, P., & Belasco, A. Congress, Congressional Research Service. (2014). Defense: Fy2014 authorization and appropriations (R43323). Retrieved from website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43323.pdf Williams, I., & Bernstein, K. (2011, April). Military sexual trauma among U.S. female veterans. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25(2), 138-147.
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