Apparently, the recent push to increase education and awareness of sexual assault in the military has fallen short. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Cadets at West Point last week that the recent “scourge” of assaults has “no place” in our military, and seemed determined to continue an aggressive anti-assault campaign. Keep in mind, much of this comes in the wake of an apparent spike in assault and sexual misconduct over the past few weeks within the military as a whole.
In case you missed it, the Department of Defense stated this month that TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND cases of unwanted sexual contact occurred in 2012, 35% higher than 2010 numbers. What’s the big picture? Sexual assault is ON THE RISE; the problem is not getting better. Unfortunately, arrogance is apparently still running rampant in some areas of our service. Multiple “leaders” have commented recently that these rapes and attacks are an “issue that doesn’t exist”. In this particular example, a man has even gone so far as to say that “there is a quick move to punish the man who is most often innocent”.
1. There is no data that says the man is most often innocent.
2. In fact, data often suggests that MEN are often the VICTIM.
3. To take stance that such an issue “doesn’t exist” is pure ignorance and a complete failure to function as a human being, let alone a Senior NCO.
Fortunately, legislative efforts continue in Washington, this time through Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who has proposed a bill that would dishonorably discharge convicted predators. Unfortunately, if leaders aren’t reporting it, then the offenders will never been convicted.
The bottom line here is Sexual Assault is a problem and unfortunately, it appears it will continue until the people with direct influence decide to take some ownership. If leaders at the Company level (and below) aren’t willing to accept this as a problem and support the effort to stop it, innocent people will continue to get raped.
If no effort is being made in you or your spouse’s command, it may be time to take the lead on this. Next time you meet with leaders at your unit, ask them how they feel about sexual assault. Based on current events, what you hear may surprise you.
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