SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY:
Policy Considerations
CURRENT LEGISLATION ON
MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA
Secretary of Defense,
Dick Cheney (1992)
“Well, we’ve got a major effort und...
Military Justice Improvement Act
Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER
• Senator Kristin Gillibrand
• Strengt...
Ruth Moore Act of 2013
Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER
• The bill is named after veteran Ruth Moore, a
...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General
MARTIN DEMPSEY – May, 17 2013:
"You might argue that we have become
a littl...
CA Assembly Bill 2545
Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER
• Bill would allow military personnel to apply fo...
THE ISSUE OF PREGNANCY
THAT RESULTS FROM RAPE
Pregnancy Incidence
Medical Considerations for Rape Related
Pregnancy During Service Time
• Before 2010, deployed US soldiers did not have acc...
Rape Specific Pregnancy
• According to a 2000 report, 4.7% of rapes result in pregnancy.
An estimated 32,000 pregnancies f...
Rape specific Pregnancy
• In commentary published in 2000, researchers described
pregnancy from rape as a “public health i...
Military Abortion
• Most military doctors are not trained to
perform abortions & have religious convictions
against it
• “...
James F. Amos, April 19, 2013
•"Why wouldn't female
Marines come forward?
Because they don't trust us.
They don't trust th...
Thank you for listening today.
Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Southern California
S...
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Zaleski kristen(2)

  1. 1. SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY: Policy Considerations
  2. 2. CURRENT LEGISLATION ON MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney (1992) “Well, we’ve got a major effort under way to try to educate everybody, to let them know we have a zero tolerance policy where sexual assault is involved.”
  3. 3. Military Justice Improvement Act Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER • Senator Kristin Gillibrand • Strengthens military justice for both the victim and the accused by balancing concerns of victims with the rights of the accused • Placing charging decisions under the authority of experienced, impartial military prosecutors increases the likelihood that decisions are made based on the law alone rather than on political pressure, internal politics, or any compromising factor • Current Status: Sent to Senate & House for consideration
  4. 4. Ruth Moore Act of 2013 Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER • The bill is named after veteran Ruth Moore, a woman who was raped twice and then spent 23 years trying to get the benefits • Improve the disability compensation evaluation procedure of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for veterans with mental health conditions related to military sexual trauma, and for other purposes. • Proof of service-connected diagnosis from layperson • No official record needed • Any diagnosis related to MST would be covered • Current status: Passed the House in June 2013
  5. 5. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General MARTIN DEMPSEY – May, 17 2013: "You might argue that we have become a little too forgiving because, if a perpetrator shows up at a court- martial with a rack of ribbons and has four deployments and a Purple Heart, there is certainly the risk that we might be a little too forgiving of that particular crime." (in response to a question regarding sexual assault crimes)
  6. 6. CA Assembly Bill 2545 Slide credit to Annie Wynne: CSP- INC; Project HER • Bill would allow military personnel to apply for the Victims of Crime Compensation Program even if the sexual assault was not reported to a superior officer or law enforcement at the time of the crime. • The bill would set forth types of evidence of sexual assault the board would be required to consider in these cases, for purposes of determining if a claim qualifies for compensation. • The bill would require both the perpetrator and the victim to be active duty military personnel at the time the sexual assault occurred for these provisions to apply • Current Status: Passed by committee to consent calendar
  7. 7. THE ISSUE OF PREGNANCY THAT RESULTS FROM RAPE
  8. 8. Pregnancy Incidence
  9. 9. Medical Considerations for Rape Related Pregnancy During Service Time • Before 2010, deployed US soldiers did not have access to pregnancy prophylaxis following an assault • Policy within the US Military is undecided and shifting depending on political climate • Dec. 2011 Congress voted NOT to fund abortions in the case of rape related pregnancy • Dec. 2012 Congress changed their mind and now allows abortions in the case of rape • The culture in which deployments occur do not have the medical support for prophylaxis or abortion care
  10. 10. Rape Specific Pregnancy • According to a 2000 report, 4.7% of rapes result in pregnancy. An estimated 32,000 pregnancies from rape occurred in 2000 alone (Stewart & Trussell, p. 228). • Lathrop (1997) has stated that “Estimates based on a single random coitus model derived from ovulation, fertility, and probability data suggest a 4%–10% likelihood that a given rape will result in pregnancy” (p. 25). • Gil (2001) stated, “[E]xternal factors can activate neuroendogenous endocrine paths that exist but which are not normally involved in ovulation,” a triggering of the endocrine pathways that can cause premature ovulation and create a higher potential for pregnancy (p. 1).
  11. 11. Rape specific Pregnancy • In commentary published in 2000, researchers described pregnancy from rape as a “public health issue,” estimating that from 333,000 sexual assaults reported in 1998, 25,000 pregnancies resulted (Stewart & Trussel, 2000, p. 228) • Importance of emergency contraception within 72 hours of a sexual assault • In another journal article, researchers cited the rape-related pregnancy rate as 5% among victims of reproductive ages (12 to 45), and that an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year (Holmes, Resnick, Kilpatrick, & Best, 1996, p. 320). • In that same study, Holmes et al. reported that 32.2% of rape victims kept the infant, 11.8% had a spontaneous abortion, 50% chose abortion, and 5.9% chose adoption.
  12. 12. Military Abortion • Most military doctors are not trained to perform abortions & have religious convictions against it • “Most women in the U.S. military in Europe cannot get abortions, despite changes in Defense Department policy, because nearly all doctors refuse to perform the procedure, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The Stars and Stripes, the unofficial military newspaper, quoted Army, Air Force and Navy officials as saying not enough doctors and nurses are willing to perform first- trimester abortions”. (AP, Chicago Tribune, 1997)
  13. 13. James F. Amos, April 19, 2013 •"Why wouldn't female Marines come forward? Because they don't trust us. They don't trust the command. They don't trust the leadership.”
  14. 14. Thank you for listening today. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW Clinical Assistant Professor University of Southern California School of Social Work Kristen.Zaleski@usc.edu

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