Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Evidence of a need for greater oversight of military academy sexual assault cases

SUMMARY: The Service Women’s Action Network is battling sexual assault and discrimination throughout the military, with the most recent frontier being the Naval Academy. They have called for the White House to grant powers to the Pentagon inspector general to review complaints from students of military academies. Currently, under military law, any cadet assaulted must report to their immediate superior, who is then supposed to report up the chain of command. The draft executive order would allow cadets another source of recourse, which will ‘make it easier for victims to come forward.’ There is a conflict of interest when commanders are in charge of sexual assault cases as it deters victims, who are beneath their commander, from coming forward. This would be a step forward in changing military culture and the structures that privilege the patriarchy.

SOURCE: Ian Duncan, April 29 2015, ‘Activists call for stiffer internal oversight of military academy sex assault cases,’ The Baltimore Sun,

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