How do I feel about the Military’s inability to protect women soldiers from sexual assault, violence and rape perpetrated by fellow American soldiers?
My own background will influence how I view this issue. I raised my four children for the first years of their life on an Air force Base. I am the wife of a retired Navy sailor. Most importantly, I am a VERY proud Military Mom with a son serving our country overseas. While I lived and worked on military bases I was always treated with the utmost respect and did not fear for my own safety at any time on base.
The military has made great strides in the last few years to protect women soldiers .The military values all of its members. They strive like any other employer to create a safe work environment for these men and women. The majority of attacks occur “after hours” in social situations, not at the work place.
Should an employer be held responsible for the actions of its employees during their off duty hours? That is a complicated issue, since the military is unlike most employers. In the case of a soldier, the employer is responsible for his or her actions 24/7 because a soldier is never truly off duty.
The military needs to take more responsibility for ensuring the safety of all of its members all of the time. They are attempting to do this through education and many other ways. They have initiated SAPRO, The Military Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. http://www.sapr.mil This site provides a link to the 2013 report on sexual assault in the military. This report contains the actual figures as well as outlines what steps the military is taking to keep women soldiers (and ALL soldiers) safe from sexual assault.
This is a large step in the right direction. However all these measures will not address the true problem , why do these assaults occur? The military is still a male dominated culture. Drinking, sex, “rough housing” are all accepted as ways to deal with the incredible demands...