Presentation Title: Prevention of Military Sexual Trauma: Lessons Learned

Abstract: Sexual trauma is a significant risk factor for military personnel. Women in the military are at a greater risk from their fellow soldiers than they are from the enemy, and data are emerging that male personnel are suffering assaults at greater numbers that had previously been believed. Although, women are at a much greater statistical risk than men, because of the large imbalance between male and female personnel, the raw numbers of male and female survivors are fairly comparable. The author led a team of three experts in an extensive consultation over 4 years at the United States Naval Academy. Each midshipman now receives 20 hours of sexual assault and harassment prevention education during his or her career. Sixteen of those hours are peer-facilitated discussions, and in every case prevention is explicitly tied to one’s performance as a future military officer. The presenter describes the strategies for educating military leaders in sexual assault and harassment prevention and also offers “big picture” strategies for reducing the scourge of military sexual assault.

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