Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Climate Change for the Military

The military is receiving directives from Obama and Hagel to formulate methods to assess commanders and hold them accountable for creating a climate "of dignity and respect."  Hagel says that the Department of Defense needs to be a national leader in combating sexual assault and to establish an environment of dignity and respect, where sexual assault is not tolerated, condoned or ignored.

We hope they focus on male members of the military and their male culture, as that change will be a monumental step forward. If so, the military could become a national leader in focusing on the real root of the problem.

Before now, most of the proposals to "solve" sexual assault problems in the military have focused on the women - supporting the women who have been assaulted, training women to protect themselves.  This is the same attitude common with civilian rape crisis/sexual assault centers that support women while the male culture refuses to take responsibility even though they continually cause the problem. Obviously that didn't work for the military (and doesn't work with civilians either) because the top (men) continues to avoid accountablity and the lower group (women), who do not create the problem and can't solve it, have to take responsibility to "clean up" as best they can after the top.

The military can step up and become role models for making cultural changes that really stop sexual assault. We hope they succeed.