4 comments on “#Alcohol is not the problem; #DraconianRant about #SexualAssault in the US Military

  1. The changing definitions and continual commanders focus are one contributing factor as you have pointed out, and possibly a major one. I would like to see the comparison of the rules currently for sexual assault compared against a filter for those that would only be considered sexual assault 10 years ago and see what the result is.

    Hagel is completely off base with the Alcohol reference. Deployed soldiers in the CENTCOM AO are prohibited by General Order No 1, and it is near impossible to obtain liquor/beer while on deployment. Customs screens the mail, commanders check packages, and there is no legal off post (off FOB I should say) to obtain it. Yet the incidents increased. So we have a decreasing supply of alcohol and an increasing case load of sexual assault cases…..hmmmm.

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    • You reminded me of something I did forget to mention.

      Another reason for the increase in reporting can be attributed to the SAPR (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response) program which publicizes contact information and the definitions of sexual assault/rape. I still believe the main impetus for the huge increase was the redefinition of what sexual assault is.
      There are many ways to get alcohol down range; while the US restricts it, other coalition troops don’t… Sometimes counterparts bring/share alcohol, and no doubt can make it’s way into the base through other means; however, I am in total agreement with you that even with this lack of alcohol, incidents have been on the rise.

      As always, thank you for your comment.

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    • I would have to argue with you on the point or reason as to why law enforcement (at least in the military) asks “how much did she have to drink”.

      There is actually an “alcohol matrix” (to use the term loosely) to calculate how drunk a person was, and to associate that to his or her ability to provide consent.

      Another reason we (again in the military–as I have no civilian LEO experience) ask what clothes she was wearing during the actual assault, is to try and ensure we get those clothes (for blood or other possible DNA sample).

      A true LEO is asked to disregard all biases and investigate the matter at hand without prejudice… taking each bit of fact/collected evidence at face value and attempting to tell that story — without adding opinions (at least to the report). If asked to opine on the situation, at that point the officer will then look at their own experiences and suggest what may have actually happened.

      However; I agree with you. For rapes and sexual assaults… alcohol nor, as you mention, the clothes she (or he) was wearing are at “fault” for the encounter.

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