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The United States Coast Guard Academy reports 10% of all female cadets experienced unwanted sexual contact, a 2% increase from the previous year. Forty percent of women and 10 percent of men said they had been sexually harassed.

Shannon Norenberg, the sexual assault response coordinator states that her solution to the increase of sexual violence at the Coast Guard Academy is to develop a training in which cadets can be trained on how to prevent being raped or assaulted.

Numerous rape prevention studies had shown that it does not matter how much a woman drinks or what she might be wearing. By teaching cadets how to “protect one self from rape” the Coast Guard Academy is placing the responsibility of preventing a rape on to a potential victim and putting the blame of a rape on to the survivor. The only one that can prevent rape is the one who causes it: the rapist. The Coast Guard Academy needs to step up and teach men to not rape instead of teaching “how not to be a victim.”

Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz the academy's superintendent calls sexual abuse as “somewhat natural”. She was quoted in a military.com article saying:

“If, one time, a guy or gal is clumsy or stupid and tries to touch someone and they're repulsed, they learn. Someone who goes around and keeps trying many times, that's a different kind of behavior than someone who is awkward and experimenting.”
Sexual assault is not being “clumsy” or “stupid” but a violent crime –a felony with lifelong consequences for the survivor. Sexual Assault is sexual assault regardless if it happened once or if it happened repetitively over a period of time. The Coast Guard Academy should not tolerate Sexual Assault and the superintendent should stop making excuses for sex predators.

The most effective way to reduce sexual assault and rape is to eradicate a culture in which sex crime is acceptable.  Teaching cadets how not to get raped and calling those that commit act of sexual assault as being “clumsy” the rape culture at the Academy is only getting much worst.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  There were a number of retired Coasties (0+ / 0-)

    commenting in Grizzard's recent diary. Do they have any opinions on this?

    *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

    by glorificus on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:17:28 PM PDT

  •  military rape increase (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, irishwitch, Ginny in CO

    The fact that the US military has a higher sexual assault rate than the rape capital in Africa should disturb everyone.
    The numbers we see in military rape also don't count women raped by the US military that aren't in the military.  That would really drive the number up when you look at all victims.
    The US government needs to be more talk no action.
    http://www.theusmarinesrape.com/...

  •  This one does. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ginny in CO

    I agree with PB on all of this: deal with the rape culture itself and don't treat the victim as the only one 'at fault.'

    I was in many years ago now, and in fact there were few women then at all, either enlisted or officer. Women had only been allowed to enlist following a lawsuit (around '73-74 I believe): up to that point they were turned away.

    As for the officer corps, the very first CGA female cadets were still in the Academy during my hitch, and only graduated in the last couple of years. No female sea duty at that time either, only at small boat units or shore units. I served at a reserve unit that actually had about 8 women (all frozen at E-6/PO First class - they couldn't go for Chief even!), a seagoing cutter (327' class - females only as exotic passengers, not crew), and a headquarters (San Francisco in fact) where there were still virtually no women in the early 80's. It was very much a different era.

    I feel that it is the mindset of the Guard as it is now that is at fault: the service I knew and loved has changed for the worse, and has far more of a police force mentality than the easy-going sailors we were. We were still civilians at heart mostly, who just happened to be wearing a blue uniform for a few years, and we felt ourselves very much to be lifesavers first, police dead last. The move of the Guard into DHS in 2002 was a further change in the corporate mind: protect the homeland at all costs was such a mantra, it overwhelmed whatever basic humanity was left.

    I absolutely hate the current public term of "warriors" given to those in uniform now. It is separating those who serve from those they protect: we are becoming a society of Spartans, taught to kill to protect at any cost, and thus any behavior is acceptable for those 'warriors.' It seems rape is okay within this ethos: don't make waves or you'll weaken the warriors.

    Fuck that. We are fast becoming the next empire that falls, irreparable for all time. An ineffective civil government, a powerful oligarchy threatened by the plebeian masses, a restive military threatened with downsizing and riddled with theocratic insiders: when does the coup happen?

    Okay, I've gone way, way off on a tangent. I blame Reagan. He was elected in 1980, I left in 1982, disgusted with the new emphasis on militarism and policing in my service. We have made this mess, we're going to have to fix it, and soon.

    I hope you'll excuse my four letter Anglo-Saxonism up there, but it very succinctly puts my emotions in the right light.

    •  Oh, an error of omission on my part: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ginny in CO

      I didn't retire, I left after six years: 1976 - 1982. Remember, most folks only serve a little, and don't do the minimum 20 years to retire.

      A Reaganism of the era: because I chose not to re-enlist, I was refused unemployment after discharge. After all, I had "refused" work, so the new rules said no unemployment. Bastard: everyone before that year had gotten it, no problem. Why: it saved money, that's why.

  •  The willingness to acknowledge and confront (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother

    the problem is a big step. Even the larger culture is still absorbed with how women should protect themselves. Not inappropriate - there are guidelines to prevent being robbed.

    The military especially needs to focus on teaching men what rape is and what sexual assault and harassment are. To establish that reports will be investigated, prosecuted as appropriate and when convictions and sentences follow, they will not be overturned by a CO.

    The women who report the assaults also need to be protected from harassment and negative impact on their careers.

    Thanks for keeping a spotlight on this.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 12:05:04 AM PDT

    •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)
      The military especially needs to focus on teaching men what rape is and what sexual assault and harassment are. To establish that reports will be investigated, prosecuted as appropriate and when convictions and sentences follow, they will not be overturned by a CO.
      Why they resist this notion for decade upon decade is beyond me. But you nailed it. I believe this could be taught to all Americans across the board, starting in primary school, but that's just me.

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