Sexual Violence In The Military

July 7, 2021

Sexual violence in the military is nothing new and, in fact, has been a growing problem with reports increasing every year since 2006. When Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin first took office in January of this year, his first directive was to order his senior leaders to review their sexual assault programs. He then created an independent panel to review the issue and make recommendations.

The first recommendation from that panel is that decisions to prosecute service members for sexual assault be made by independent authorities, not commanders. Service leaders now have about 30 days to review that recommendation and to provide their own ideas and in put

So here we are with a growing issue and not much visible progress being made. To further discuss the issue of sexual violence within the military is Terri Spahr Nelson. Terri was the Program Coordinator/Sexual Trauma Counselor from 1993 to 1995 at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. She was a Principal Investigator in a five-year study/assessment of sexual trauma in U.S. Military which spanned from 1997 to 2002. She was also a Subject Matter Expert and Consultant for the Department of Defense Leadership Team (SAPRO), was on the Care for Victims of Sexual Assault (Confidentiality Subcommittee) and Victim Advocacy Advisory Group (2004, 2005); Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (2012-13). Additionally, Teri has written 4 books (including 2015’s For Love of Country: Confronting Rape and Sexual Harassment in the US Military) peer-reviewed journal articles, and 21 booklets distributed nationally in English, Spanish, Braille,

We should also note that Terri herself is a Military Veteran of the US Army serving in Behavioral Sciences, and was twice awarded the Army Commendation Medal with first oak leaf cluster for meritorious service


Topics Covered Include:

  • What were the findings of the five-year study/assessment of sexual trauma in U.S. Military
  • Are the increases in reports of sexual violence a good sign that more people are coming forward or an indication the problem is getting worse
  • Are there unique aspects of the military that make it more difficult to combat the issue of sexual violence
  • How is the lack of accountability with perpetrators impacting the problem
  • What prevention efforts do the military already employ and what are some of the new prevention efforts being considered