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jharrington on 17 May 2017 1044 said:
Thank you for reaching out and for volunteering your time in support of our veterans!
Your frustrations and disillusionment are understandable. Here are my thoughts: Every service member has a unique experience during their time of service, and their experience depends on many factors, to include Service branch, specialty occupation, and leadership attitudes of their unit. While sexual harassment and assault are not universal experiences for all women who serve, the risk of sexual assault is greater for women.
DoD is working hard to research and address gender disparities where they exist, and to determine what can be done to resolve the differences if they are found. DoD has launched a comprehensive campaign to address sexual harassment and assault at all levels of the organization, and has made good progress towards raising awareness and holding personnel accountable. DoD also studies prevention efforts, to identify what works and what doesn't work, to prevent females and males from being sexually assaulted or harassed. In 2013 DoD launched the Sexual Assault Advisory Group to the Psychological Health and Resilience Council, to focus on the mental health needs of males and females who experience sexual assault or harassment, and to make recommendations to resolve gaps when they are identified, to include gaps in services, policy, legislation, or programs. The DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office also works tirelessly to prevent and respond to reports of sexual assault, and have a specific plan in place to address retaliation, ostracism or bullying related to sexual assault, which can be found on their website. You can also find more information and resources in the Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment in the Military section of this site.
We will continue to work to raise awareness, and to address these concerns, and appreciate your support for our mission.
-- Dr. Kate McGraw
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