Sexual assault in the military is a critical issue that strikes at the heart of force readiness, morale, and significantly erodes trust between servicemembers. The pervasiveness of the problem and the systematic burden placed on the victims is alarming.
Dangerous or not we need to allow them to pursue their own dreams. Most football players play because they want to. Most soldiers fight because they have to. I wonder, Mr. President, which would you prefer your child to participate in?
Those veterans returned home to a bleak landscape of flashbacks of rape, post-traumatic stress, and displacement. These are brave, courageous people, survivors of military sexual assault, and I am committed to helping them rebuild their lives.
I consider myself well-educated and self-aware. I wrote a Master's thesis on issues in Women's Studies and kept my maiden name. I assumed I was one of the last people who would unconsciously work harder for a man than a woman.
The Invisible War is a brave attempt to change the culture of rape in our armed services. But make no mistake, in talking about the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, the film is talking about America at large.
It is not surprising that the decision to lift the ban preventing women from serving in combat led immediately to widespread debate regarding the implications of the change for the military and for our society.
When women are by law declared unfit to carry out essential functions of the armed services because of their gender, they are not treated equally. The official policy that legalizes discrimination creates an automatic power imbalance, with only men at the top.
How many combat veterans are suffering and just waiting for someone to ask them if they are hurting? As a nation, let's start asking.
When it comes to sexual violence, there are two separate, and unequal, systems available to victims: one for service members who are raped, the other for civilians.
The Pentagon just announced it's lifting the ban on woman going to the front lines and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. I know this is something that's supposedly good for women, but it's something I have mixed feeling about. Oddly, one of those feelings is gratitude.
The Christian Bible says in John 8:32 "the truth will set you free," and an Omaha area 20-something woman is living by her faith.
Military action must be the last, rather than the primary, tool of foreign policy. While Chuck Hagel knows this, he also knows that the nation's military must be ready and able to deliver overwhelming force when required.
I've been an advocate working in the movement to prevent violence against women for many years, and I don't think I've ever seen a film move the needle on a social issue as quickly and decisively as The Invisible War.
Without a doubt, sexual assault crimes across the branches of our armed forces are occurring with shocking regularity. In order for practical changes to take hold and be effective, they must be accompanied by a universal culture change.
These days, we talk incessantly about living well and achieving life balance, yet we wear masks to hide our pain. No matter who you are, true wellness can never be achieved behind these and without facing our pain and stressors.