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View Diary: Congress passes military sexual assault reforms, but stops short of Gillibrand measure (75 comments)

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  •  To be more correct, the military can be highly (9+ / 0-)

    resistant to change until the order comes down.  Then it is more generally "You heard the man, get it done."  When DADT went away, everyone got a little training on it then poof, one day without fanfare it was just gone.

    This will and should probably have more fanfare and more training, but the military has a history of reforming when ordered to a lot more quickly than our society at large.

    "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

    by kirrix on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 06:50:02 AM PST

    •  That seems a little overoptimistic. (0+ / 0-)

      After all, the military has been told to deal with sexual assault and that didn't just get done. Process can change quickly. Culture not so fast.
      Similarly with culture around PTSD, suicide and other psychological issues.

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:30:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More work in progress really. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ksuwildkat, kat herder, demreplib33

        Everyone is going through training on sexual assault prevention and response at least twice a year at this point, and the official policy is pretty stark.  Further, everyone gets trained on their rights if they are a victim, including and especially the right to a formal grievance if they feel their CO has failed to respond appropriately to their situation.

        Yes, processes are a lot more easily changed than culture, but the problem isn't military culture, it's American culture at large.  People need to be taught about this stuff long before they reach military age, otherwise they come in with the wrong mentality in the first place, and people don't change overly much once they've fully developed.

        "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

        by kirrix on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:48:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't that I believe this has all been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Dealt with now, but as a member of the community of which you speak I have to wonder what you understand about military culture.  If you think we all don't want acknowledge or address PTSD you couldn't be more wrong.  If you think we all think a little rape is okay you couldn't be more wrong.  And we dropped DADT like the wrong headed policy it was, quickly and practically seamlessly thanks to the soldiers who rewrote and reworked all those regulations and then implemented them.

        I am reminded of the outcry liberals had here at DailyKos when they learned that military families would be asked about lifting DADT.  Surveys were sent out.  This community for some reason did not trust that soldier families are human beings too.  But an overwhelming majority of us made it very clear in those surveys that sexual preference is not a big deal to us and that if gay families lived next door we were pretty somehow our kids would be okay.

        Most soldiers are male, but if you think the majority of them don't realize that their mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, brothers, and selves couldn't be raped well wow.  The problem in ALL of this has been horrible self centered uncaring command.  

        •  Not just command (0+ / 0-)

          There're certainly problems at the ground level as well. Not all that different than similar issues in the civilian world. There are problems with the culture in both places and that's not as easy to change as the laws.

          I certainly never meant to imply "all" or even "most", but that like in the general population there are more than we like who'd make excuses or blame the victim.

          DADT was in some ways easier to change than some of this will be. DADT was an official policy. The policy changes, the actions change. (Of course, even with DADT, the "Don't Ask" portion of the policy wasn't always followed very well.) I'm sure any policy changes made will be followed, in the sense that if commanders aren't allowed to overturn verdicts, for example, commanders won't overturn verdicts. They won't have that authority. Whether it actually stops retalation against reporters on the other hand, is a harder question.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 11:09:52 AM PST

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          •  The ground level must respond directly (0+ / 0-)

            To command.  They don't get a choice in this. I really disagree with you.  We deal with racial issues better than civilian society because we must.  We deal with sexual preference issues because we must.  It will be same for rape as soon as we must.  Nobody ever thought you could have a gay marriage receiving military benefits but here we are.

            This is all about command and command environment IMO

            •  The ground level gets plenty of choice. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DSPS owl

              Not in the legal mechanics of trials and discipline but in how they react to what's happening on the ground. How they support the victim or the perpetrator, before and after a formal report. How they react to the earlier signs of harrassment and assault. All the things that contribute to the atmosphere that promotes or deters abuse.
              People on the same level always are likely to know something's wrong before their superiors do.

              Not to excuse command either. They certainly set a good deal of the pattern.

              And frankly, rape and sexual assault are illegal now in the military. What changes have to be made so you "must" deal with them?

              The Empire never ended.

              by thejeff on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 11:39:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You cannot rely on any kind of uniform (0+ / 0-)

                Feelings from anyone, this includes civilians.  You cannot even depend on a spouse supporting a rape victim always. Sometimes rape victims end up being divorced because spouses can't process or cope. Everyone has differing ways of dealing with trauma.  But consistently enforced law does change behavior.

                I feel like though in this instance you want soldiers to be able to do things and feels things and respond in such ways that civilians aren't even capable of, that is what the law is for.  To define and set basic standards of meeting out justice, and that creates many social norms.

              •  Also,take a look (0+ / 0-)

                At the recent publicized rapes of high school girls by athletes that adults in power tried to coverup and railroad victims.  This is not a military culture problem, this is an American culture problem.

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