UPI: Sexual assault in U.S. military reflects culture of bullying (2014)

Stop the Bully

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 19 (UPI) — The acceptance of bullying in U.S. culture contributes to sexual assault in the armed forces, experts say.

Mary Ellen O’Toole, editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender and retired FBI profiler and criminal investigator analyst led a roundtable discussion with Christopher Kilmartin of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Col. Jeffery Peterson of Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Va., discussed specific factors that likely contribute to the sexual assault problem.

“The evidence is that the population of people who come into the U.S. military have more experience with sexual assault than the general population, both as offenders and as survivors. Survivors are at statistically increased risk of being revictimized, and offenders are at an increased risk for reoffending,” Kilmartin said at the roundtable.

Read more here.

VOR America: Jennifer Norris Discusses Sexual Misconduct in the Military (2014)

The Real News: Senate Unanimously Passes Sexual Assault Bill, But What Will it Change? (2014)

Jennifer Norris: Senate bill will still keep military sexual abuse cases within the chain of command of the military, leaving victims vulnerable to retaliation

Clear Pattern of the Army Tossing Soldiers Who Have PTSD

The Wounded Platoon

The Wounded Platoon (PBS)

Day after day I hear first hand accounts of not only the Army but all of the Armed Forces forcing troops out for PTSD or some trumped up misconduct charge. And what really gets my goat is that these are people who have been in the military for a long time, have deployed overseas, and now suffer from some kind of war injury. Is this the way that you envisioned the military would treat our troops after all that they have sacrificed.

I find it ironic that Officers who get caught with felony charges can quietly retire after the media blows it up to hold them accountable. Yet a soldier who has been in 19 years, did four rotations overseas, and snapped on the fourth rotation because you sent them there knowing they had PTSD, gets the bad conduct discharge. This is criminal. How dare you Army do this to someone with 19 years of dedicated service. What happened to the whole person concept? Why is it that a fight or flight response is now being used against a soldier when the symptoms include disassociation, irritability, distrust, fear, etc. Why is it that you act like people are faking when they just did four tours of duty.

Continue reading

Military Justice Improvement Act Falls Short of Votes & Substance

xl_deptofdefenselogoThe MJIA fell short of the votes it needed to pass in Congress. But it’s really nothing to get upset about because the bill falls short of substance.

The MJIA had good intentions. It gave the victim a different place to report other then an immediate supervisor or the Commander. It would have allowed victims to report to a military prosecutor instead. The bill also included all violent crimes, ie sexual assault, domestic violence, and murder.

But in reality, how is that going to work? There aren’t enough military prosecutors to report to. There was one, maybe two in the State of Maine JAG office and they were located hours if not days away from some of the places we trained and deployed.

Continue reading

Senator Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military.

“Since 2004, I have been sounding the alarm over the military’s ineffective response to the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military, including the need to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators, to provide adequate care for the survivors of such reprehensible crimes, and to change the culture across the military so that sexual assault is unthinkable,” said Senator Collins, who first raised this issue during an Armed Services Committee hearing ten years ago.

In her remarks on the Senate floor, she singled out for praise the courage of two Mainers who have come forward to tell their stories.

“I also want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of Jennifer Norris and Ruth Moore – two Mainers who were sexually assaulted while serving and have made it their mission to change the broken system that does not put victims first. Through their advocacy, they have helped to shine a light on this crisis and deserve our gratitude.”

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

20140301-003103.jpgWhat is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

FMI from the National Institute of Mental Health, please click here.