Sexual Assault in the Military

A Guide for Victims and Families

By (author) Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott, Don Philpott, Jeff Scott

Publication date:

04 April 2014

Length of book:

248 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442227507

Sexual assault and harassment in the military have been a critical subject for years. Many victims may be reluctant to press charges because of fear of retaliation, damage to their careers, and widespread uncertainty regarding the military justice system. However, when circumstances arise, there are resources available to assist victims and families in their efforts to report, seek help, and recover from the effects of sexual assault. Yet, finding those resources can be challenging, especially in a time of crisis. Sexual Assault in the Military serves as an easy-to-use, comprehensive reference guide for military members and their families about sexual assault and harassment.

While more and more attention focuses on getting victims to report their abuse, accessing information can still be difficult for service-members. Understanding that the military is making changes, and offering support is a necessary step towards how best to treat these cases and how to get help and justice. Cheryl Lawhorne-Scott and Don Philpott discuss the current state of affairs, the systems in place, and the supports available to victims and families. They provide documents that outline how reporting can and should take place, how cases should be handled through the military justice system, and how and where victims can access resources, including counseling. By providing this information in one ready resource, the authors hope to assist in changing the culture of silence and fear, as well as provide education surrounding military sexual assault and harassment.
Notwithstanding the occasional prominent case of sexual harassment or assault that occurs in the military, victims continue to be reluctant to come forward. Clinical therapist Lawhorne-Scott, journalist Don Philpott, and former military officer Jeff Scott offer resources for victims faced with difficult choices about how to proceed with pressing charges. The authors recount the shameful history of sexual abuse in the military and recap the current situation, encompassing changing attitudes and efforts to improve responsiveness to sexual assault victims. They also offer very detailed case studies, primarily of women who have been victimized, often by commanding officers. They advise victims on how to report an assault and detail the current administrative and penal systems, with particular instructions on how to navigate the military justice system. They also recommend sources for counseling and other mental health care in this guide aimed at helping to counter the fear and silence that prevent victims from taking action against their abusers.