Military Specific Sexual Violence Prevention Programs
I. A.M. STRONG is the Army’s campaign to combat sexual assaults by engaging all Soldiers in preventing sexual assaults before they occur.
“Grounded by our shared belief in the Army Values, we are a band of brothers and sisters, placing mission first, never accepting defeat, never quitting and never leaving a fallen comrade. Our interdependence and shared respect among comrades frames who we are as a Team and an Army – a Team that finds sexual assault reprehensible and beyond toleration. Those who commit assaults hurt a member of our Team and wound our Army. This criminal act is cowardly and damaging to the very moral fiber that gives our Army its innermost strength.
As Soldiers and proud members of our Team, we are duty bound to Intervene, Act, and Motivate others to stop sexual assaults and the sexually offensive language and gestures that create an environment friendly to this abuse.”
Military specific collection from vawnet.org:
This Special Collection addresses sexual violence against military service members, defines Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and offers resources (including information on current policy, procedures, legislation, and litigation) to support the prevention of and response to sexual violence as it impacts service members and veterans in the United States.
**Factors Associated with Women’s Risk of Rape in the Military Environment** by Anne G. Sadler, Brenda M. Booth, Brian L. Cook, and Bradley N. Doebbeling for the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (2003)
This research article discusses the outcomes of a national survey of women veterans and reports that 28% of participants reported experiencing rape. This finding led to the authors recommendations for changes in the workplace environment of the military, where sexual harassment and unwanted sexual behaviors were associated with increased odds of experiencing rape.
**Air force officials focus on sexual assault prevention** by Lt. Col. Ann Stefanek for the U.S. Air Force (March 17, 2011)
This news story written by the Air Force Secretary of Public Affairs discusses the plan to review strategies to prevent sexual assault in the Air Force, based on guidance from the military’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Team. This action follows the release of survey findings on the scope of the problem of sexual assault in the military.
**2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members: Overview Report on Sexual Assault** by Lindsay M. Rock, Rachel N. Lipari, Paul J. Cook, and Andrew D. Hale for the Defense Manpower Data Center (March 2011)
This report discusses the findings of a survey conducted across all military branches and the Coast Guard. The survey elicited over 26,000 responses from both men and women, and explored instances and reactions to unwanted sexual contact, including where and when the incidence occurred, characteristics of offenders, and experiences related to reporting and seeking help. The purpose of this survey was to assess and evaluate efforts to prevent sexual assault within the military.
**DoD’s and the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Programs Need to be Further Strengthened** by Brenda S. Farrell and Randolph C. Hite for the United States Government Accountability Office (February 2010)
The United States Government Accountability Office provided testimony before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the House of Representatives. In this report, the GAO made nine recommendations for improvement for the Department of Defense, two recommendations for the Coast Guard, and reviewed efforts and steps taken to respond to the report given in the previous year.
Moral Development Education: Sexual Assault Prevention in the Military Context:
Catharsis Productions’ strategic use of humor, audience interaction, Army culture, and real-life BCT scenarios is research-based, and builds equity with Privates in order to create learning opportunities surrounding the topic of sexual assault. Their programs break down the definition of rape and what constitutes consent while exploring common myths and victim-blaming surrounding sexual assault. The programs also discuss the complexity of alcohol and introduce a bystander intervention conversation while making an explicit moral argument against sexual violence.
Documentaries covering sexual assault in the military:
The Invisible War: From Oscar®- and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem-today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010. The Invisible War exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world.
Resources for survivors in the military (and groups working on secondary prevention)
Protect Our Defenders is a human rights organization: “We honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been raped or sexually assaulted by fellow service members. We seek to fix the military training, investigation and adjudication systems related to sexual violence and harassment — systems that often re-victimize assault survivors by blaming them while failing to prosecute perpetrators.”
Helpful definitions to note when working with Military populations:
Active Duty Personnel: Service members who work full-time in the military.
Administrative separation: Discharge of active duty personnel for misconduct. This separation process from the military is merely administrative, not judicial, and does not determine whether a crime has occurred. There are different degrees of administrative separation: general, honorable, and other than honorable.
Article 32: An investigation in which enough evidence is presented to show that a crime was committed. This process can be compared to a civilian preliminary investigation.
Captain’s Mast: The forum for nonjudicial punishment for active duty personnel.
Chaplain: The clergyperson attached to a ship or base chapel.
Commanding officer: The officer who supervises a unit or command, also known as the CO. This individual has a lot of decision making power and has the authority to order nonjudicial punishment when a case does not go to court-martial.
Court-martial: The system of military justice. There are three different forms: general court-martial, special court-martial, and summary court-martial.
Dependents: The family members of military personnel.
Discharge: The processing out of an active duty person from the military. There are different levels of discharge: dishonorable after a conviction by a general court-martial and bad conduct by either a general or special court-martial. A dishonorable discharge is the more serious of the two.
Family Service Center: A social service agency for military personnel and their families. This is a good point of contact for civilian social service agencies in initiating collaboration.
General court-martial: The military court for felony crimes. Punishments range from a dishonorable discharge to death. It is important to know that a conviction in this court is a federal conviction.
Sexual Assault Victim Intervention Program: A specialized advocacy program for survivors in the Navy, also known as SAVI. It is similar to SART (Sexual Assault Response Teams) in the civilian world. Other branches of the military have similar services, usually under the Family Advocacy Program.
Special court-martial: The military court for misdemeanor crimes. Punishment usually consists of a bad-conduct discharge, which is a federal conviction.
Summary court-martial: A military court for noncapital offenses. Maximum sentence is thirty-days’ confinement; however, the accused can refuse this type of trial.
Temporary active duty: Temporary assignment of an active duty member to another part of the command; also known as TAD.
Uniform Code of Military Justice: The basis for the military justice system.
Victim Witness Assistance Program: A program in each of the services that provides assistance to all military survivors.
WESPAC: A six-month period of deployment for active duty personnel.