Justice Denied Film Screening & Panel Featuring PAVE Ambassador Barbara Bowman
In 2010, it’s estimated that 19,000 women and men have been sexually assaulted in the Military. In FY 2012 It’s estimated that number has climbed to 26000 while the rate of reporting the crime has dropped from 13.5% to just over 9%.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a press briefing immediately following the release of the Department of Defenses report to Congress for FY2012, “We’re all outraged and disgusted over these very troubling allegations. Sexual assault is a despicable crime and one of the most serious challenges facing this department. It’s a threat to the safety and the welfare of our people and the health, reputation and trust of this institution.”
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently told a press conference, “It is an affront to the basic American values we defend and it is a stain on the good honor of the great majority of our troops and our families,” Panetta said.
Even U.S. President Barack Obama has finally addressed the issue, this time demanding action. “The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this.” He said, ‘I expect consequences. So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable – prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”
And still there is resistance to removing the responsibility for investigating assault complaints from the direct chain of command WHICH IS WHY Representative Jackie Speier has reintroduced The Stop act as HR1593.
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is not new.
Our fighting forces have been dealing with it since before the Country began. But now, victims are starting to speak out. Because of a few courageous individuals, the problem has become public. Military and ex Military women are beginning to get their voices. It’s time for the men to have the same opportunities to tell their stories. And that’s what this documentary is about, MST from the Male perspective.
Because of the military culture, victims still in the service don’t feel safe enough to report incidents. Our goal with this film is to get Congress to change the laws, to put together a joint Civilian/Military commission who would be responsible for investigating all reports of sexual assault and taking appropriate action.
Award winning movie producer Michael L Miller will produce and direct. Geri Lynn Weinstein-Matthews, MSW, LICSW, is Executive Producer/Producer/Co-Director/MST Advocate