FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Military #MeToo Reaches Ft. Bragg Panel on 1/7/21
Fayetteville, NC, December 31, 2020 – Problems in handling of sex crimes in the military are well documented – from rarely punishing those accused of sexual assault, to harassing and retaliating against victims, to firing those hired to protect the victims. Sexual assaults happen on base, and on deployment, and have been documented through time.
But still the military didn’t address them for years and years. However, the disappearance and murder of Vanessa Guillen in Fort Hood Army base in Texas sparked a military #MeToo movement that is forcing military-wide change. The Secretary of the Army went public with the Ft. Hood report results and promised that the changes are reaching everywhere. Ft Bragg is the largest Army base in the US and in the world, by population.
In response, the Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, appointed an independent review committee to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Fort Hood’s command climate and culture. The committee returned with a scathing assessment, and identified nine Findings and issued 70 recommendations to address those findings. Among other things, it found that there is significant underreporting of sexual harassment and sexual assault due to victims’ fears of ostracism, shunning and shaming, harsh treatment and indelible damage to their careers. While the report reflects conditions at Ft. Hood, the task force set up by McCarthy to correct the problems views this as a military-wide issue, not limited to Ft. Hood or to the Army.
Fayetteville NOW, Raleigh NOW and NC NOW have organized a panel to hear from the experts who deal with survivors of sexual assault about issues that Ft. Bragg needs to address. It also gives the Military the opportunity to hear about known problems at Ft. Bragg, and allows Ft. Bragg talk about plans to address these problems.
“It’s not a military problem, it’s an American problem. If the defenders of our country can’t defend each other from inside, this is a threat to national security, it destroys our military’s readiness.” -Retired Captain Erin Scanlon
Name: Military #MeToo Reaches Ft. Bragg: Issues Ft. Bragg Needs To Address
Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Place: Zoom, register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_tDmFsxs6Sraao-S6LZmLcQ
Note: register in advance for this webinar. You will receive a confirmation email on how to join
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/219692489597322
The panelists for the #Military MeToo panel include
- Deanne Gerdes, Executive Director of Rape Crisis of Cumberland County
- Lindsey Knapp, Esq, Executive Director of Combat Sexual Assault
- Captain Erin Scanlon (US Army, Ret), sexual assault survivor and victim advocate
- (Invited) Robert Louden, SHARP Program Manager at XVIII Airborne Corps and Ft. Bragg
- Shelia Leese-Roberts, LCSW, VA Military Trauma Support (MST) Coordinator
Note: The Army’s SHARP program stands for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention
Knapp had worked to help sexual assault survivors at Ft. Bragg, and was interviewed by CBS as one of 3 women fired from the military for calling the military out on problems she had witnessed.
The panel is free and open to the public. Members of the media are welcome to attend, and all can register in advance with the zoom link for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email on how to join.
- Pamela Carver, President, Fayetteville Chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gailya Paliga, President, NC National Organization for Women, email@example.com