Military Sexual Assaults Reflect a U.S. Societal Cancer? By, Jay H Berman

Military Sexual Assaults Reflect a U.S. Societal Cancer?

By, Jay H. Berman – Feature Guest Columnist for www.ronrambles.com

Creator/Publisher Ron Tenin

On twitter: Ron Tenin@rpt62960

 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon reports, 12,100 of the 203,000 women & 13,900 of the 1.2 million men on active duty had experienced sexual assault in 2012. Our government would never lie to the American public – so these figures are accurate, right?

“Is this observer of over 5 decades of US politics cynical? Damned right I am!”

The failures of the systemic military culture created & fostered by top leaders, both in uniform & civilian are at fault! Our courageous warriors, the best & bravest among us bar none, deserve our undying gratitude & respect. The greatest percentages of men & woman wearing the uniform serve with honor & dignity. Those who tarnish this reputation should face severe penalty. But, I lay blame at a societal culture that has infected our military & nearly all walks of life.

With sincere respect for the abused & their loved ones – this clearly is no laughing matter. I am not ashamed or afraid to admit that I possess personal first-hand knowledge. So my snide opening remark is aimed at authorities whose irresponsibility has led over decades to a reprehensible culture being allowed to fester. The cancerous growth grows ever larger, as millions never report these heinous crimes. As a survivor & the former editor & Board Member of the ptsd-alliance, I don’t speak as a voice of authority or professional expertise – rather, a voice of concern & painful experience.

Curiously, military & government officials alike admitted that the aforementioned number of assaults was a marked increase from such reports in 2010. POTUS publicly displayed an image of anger, declaring Congress must take immediate action! Of course, he is right, we should all be very angry.

But, this disease must be confronted with a commitment that justice be served. Top brass have been negligent in this duty. Reportedly, Defense Sec. Hagel is stridently addressing the matter.

Additionally, & in the longer term more importantly, a nation-wide effort has to be made to open our hearts & minds with great compassion for the abused! This is imperative & absolute if healing is to take place. Additionally, we must remake our culture . . . both civilian & military, gender or sexual orientation, all ethnicities & religious beliefs, all value systems & political persuasions, from every demographic profile both personal & professional.

Here is why . . .

It is pointless citing endless studies & statistics I’ve pored over regarding this awful subject. My point is that harsh brutal truth-telling is our one primary missing ingredient. People who are abused are afraid to report the crime. The criminal justice system fails to provide protection for the innocent. They are blamed as “willing participants.” Parents, teachers, & clergy disallow the victim to feel empowered to come forward. They are faced with rejection, scorn or worse.

I had a dear friend – a woman whose uncle lived next door & sexually assaulted her repeatedly when she just a child. Her mother, upon hearing her daughter accuse him, was physically slapped & punished for telling such a horrific lie. She was made to suffer in silence until well into adulthood, when a complete mental breakdown finally culminated in the truth coming to light. No one but the abused woman herself was punished – emotionally scarred for life.

Insofar as my own story, I never came forward until too many decades passed. Instead, I lived with nightmares & turned to drugs & alcohol to dull the pain. No one could have convinced me that I’d have been believed & protected. This is true for children, adolescents & adults, (including seniors) – both male & female.

“No, I have NOT watched too many episodes of Law & Order S.V.U.”

When survivors are no longer afraid to come forward, when they no longer face retribution for doing so, when offenders are properly brought to justice, then, & only then will we as a nation be in the process of changing the decades long culture of burying our collective heads in the sand!

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

– Author Unknown

“This famous quote I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m eternally grateful, Jay – on twitter @ BermanJ1

 

Resources:

– Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics

– F.B.I. Bureau of Crime Statistics

– S.N.A.P. – Survivors Network of Abused Persons by Clergy

– Ptsd-alliance.org

– Document: Pentagon Report on Sexual Assault in the Military in 2012





One comment on “Military Sexual Assaults Reflect a U.S. Societal Cancer? By, Jay H Berman

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