Total Credits: 1.5 including 1.5 American Psychological Association, 1.5 California Board of Registered Nurses, 1.5 State Bar of California, 1.5 California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
In 2018, the Department of Defense estimated that 20,500 members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted. This is the highest number since 2005 and constitutes a nearly 50% increase in the number of assaults against women (DOD SAPRO, 2019). Despite the creation of the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2005, prevention efforts have failed to adequately counter the culture of misogyny and harassment in the U.S. military that contribute to the epidemic of sexual violence. Despite SAPRO’s assertion that sexual violence can be “measurably and systematically reduced” through prevention efforts, the increased prevalence of sexual assault despite robust prevention efforts calls into question the efficacy of sexual assault prevention programming within the DOD (DOD, 2019, p. 3). Policy changes enacted over the past ten years including the introduction of the Special Victims Counsel/Victims Legal Counsel program and the creation of the restricted reporting option. Though these policies have enabled victims of sexual violence to achieve greater autonomy and comprehension of the sexual assault reporting process, it has done little to deter future sexual assaults (Holland et al, 2014). Sexual violence continues to permeate the U.S. military despite prevention efforts because perpetrators continue to act with impunity. Prevention efforts alone, including trainings, workshops, and online courses, are an inadequate and ineffective method of abating sexual violence if there is no accountability. The U.S. military must deter sexual violence by adequately responding to unrestricted reports; the abysmal conviction rate and command-based referral system both make it clear to potential perpetrators that they can commit acts of violence without facing serious consequences. Major policy reforms are necessary within the military justice system to constitute an efficacious “prevention” effort by the DOD.
Originally recorded at IVAT's 25th San Diego International Virtual Summit
|Policy over Programming Presentation (1.3 MB)||Available after Purchase|