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Is a cultural shift required to reduce military sexual assault?

In our last post, we discussed the topic of sexual assault in the military, which made national news when it was mentioned by one of the presidential candidates. Although raising awareness of the issue is a first step, there must also be follow-through.

When it comes to attitudes about sexual assault, a recent commentary suggests that many Americans continue to regard the issue as a problem affecting others. The author of the article asserts that change must begin by recognizing the problem to be the responsibility of everyone, not just victims or perpetrators.

In the name of machismo culture, the author believes that far too many men, in particular, are unwilling to speak out or take affirmative actions to change. The author defines consensual sexual conduct as an affirmative and enthusiastic response from all parties, and anything less would not meet the definition.

A victim of sexual assault in the military has the additional obstacle of overcoming not only the culture against speaking out, but also an unspoken deference to the chain-of-command. Both are reasons why a victim should consult with a civilian attorney that focuses on military law. An outside attorney will not have a conflict of interest or be susceptible to internal military politics.

Our Washington, D.C.-based law firm has provided representation in a broad range of military legal issues. We have appeared in courts-martial, administrative discharge hearings, appeals, and other forums. The breadth of our experience gives our clients the confidence to place their trust in us.

Source: Washington Post, “My teen boys are blind to rape culture,” Jody Allard, Sept. 14, 2016

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