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Sexual Trauma In Military Essay

823 words - 4 pages

In the past, military news typically evolved tragic training incidents or deaths during overseas combat. However, over the last several years many incidents involving military personnel and sexual assault have made headlines across the United States. Military women and men have brought to light the lack of justice for victims of sexual assault, and the prevalence of such attacks. Questions arise as to why victims do not report incidents or seek out assistance when they are physically or sexually assaulted. Many reasons are due to how the system of reporting is established within the military, retaliation and further re-victimization within the chain of command. Modifications to the current system have begun within the Department of Defense and future changes are probable.
Overall sexual assault has been beheld as a coercive or forced act against another person whether in the form of sexual penetration or unwanted contact against the victim. However, the military has a term for sexual assault which is military sexual trauma. Military sexual trauma has some implications for the victim that do not necessarily apply to a civilian being sexually assaulted. First, many of the victims of military sexual trauma be acquainted with the assailant because they are members of the same squadron or are a commanding officer. These are individuals they must work with daily and unlike civilians have little option of removing themselves from that location especially if deployed overseas (Burns, Grindlay, Holt, Manski, & Grossman, 2014). Other differences between civilian and military sexual trauma has to do with availability of proper medical and psychological treatment for victims. Many military victims do not necessarily have the anonymity as civilians when it comes to treatment options such as emergency contraception or confidentiality (Burns et al., 2014). Furthermore, there are not separate entities or branches to report such assaults, because the victim must report the incident within their chain of command or to other specified personnel. The absence of reporting military sexual trauma has had unanticipated consequences.
The military has been about being a cohesive group and working together as one. Thus, many victims do not report sexual trauma because of being accused of terminating that cohesive group regardless who should be blamed. Therefore the military has an option for the victims to file a restrictive or unrestrictive report. Thus, the victim has the choice to remain anonymous in a restricted report, and receive necessary medical and psychological treatment. Or victims can choose an...

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