Can The Military “Fix” Its Sexual Assault Problem?

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A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives #ASOPmovie #veterans #military #PTSD #militarysexualtrauma #suicide # honor #respect #ASOPtour #jillianbullock#tamarawoods #lamontfountain #johnquinlan
The Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that 26,000 sexual assault incidences occur each year in the United States military. A new Pentagon report also shows a sharp increase in the estimated number of assaults in the military annually.
Here are some highlights of incidents in the last few years that shows just how rampant sexual assault is in the United States Armed Forces.
(Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski)
In 2013, Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the officer in charge of his entire branch's sexual-assault prevention program, was arrested for allegedly attacking and groping a woman in the parking lot when he was drunk. He was acquitted of the charge of assault and battery. Also in the same year, a sergeant first class at Fort Hood in Texas was relieved of his duties as a sexual assault prevention response coordinator, when he came under investigation for sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, maltreating subordinates, and  according to USA Today reports, for forcing a subordinate into a prostitution ring he allegedly helped run.
The Pentagon recently assessed that rape and sexual assault in the armed forces had jumped 35 percent since 2010. The number of reported sexual crimes — 3,374 — was also up. In 2013, Pentagon spokesman George Little said: “The American people, including our service members, should expect a culture of absolutely no tolerance for this deplorable behavior that violates not only the law, but basic principles of respect, honor, and dignity in our society and its military.”

 SEXUAL ASSAULT COMES IN DIFFERENT FORMS
Not all sexual assaults in the military stem from actual physical contact. In 2014, a U.S. Navy official confirmed to CNN that an investigation was underway as to who secretly filmed female officers on the USS Wyoming submarine while they showered and changed clothes. These videos were also distributed among the crew members. While the investigation was ongoing, Navy Vice Adm. M.J. Connor stated in a letter that the alleged perpetrators were removed from the ship pending the outcome of the investigation.
"Incidents that violate the trust of our sailors go against every core value we hold sacred in our naval service," Connor wrote. "We go to war together with the confidence that we can rely on each other in all circumstances, and incidents of sailors victimizing other sailors represent an extreme breach of that trust!"

REMOVE CONTROL FROM MILITARY COMMANDING OFFICERS
(Senator Kirsten Gillibrand)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has been very vocal when it comes to sexual assault and rape in the military and what should be done to help victims. After the Krusinski arrest, Gillibrand stated: "to say this report is disturbing would be a gross understatement."
Gillibrand, who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee's military personnel panel, also stated: "The military has not been able to demonstrate that they have made a difference and they need to be held to the scrutiny and that standard this year because throughout the last year we have continued to see evidence of how much farther we have to go to solve sexual assault in the military.”
She believes no real chance will occur until control over sexual assault cases are removed from military commanding officers.
Despite the military fiercely stating that it has a “zero tolerance” for sexual assault, the 2015 SAPRO report showed that military leaders are not enforcing this very well. In fact, over 75 percent of men and women in the Armed Forces who have been sexually assaulted, have no faith in the military justice system to protect their rights and to prosecute those who have committed these crimes against them.
GOP proponents, such as Sen. Rand Paul, supports Gillibrand’s bill.
"If you were in a corporation you would not report to your boss -- you would go to the police," he said. "In the military, it's a little different but you still wouldn't want to go to your boss directly or you wouldn't want your boss to be making the decisions -- particularly if your boss was buddies with the perpetrator -- you would want people you don't know outside the chain of command."
Unfortunately, despite the support Gillibrand got from both Democrats and Republicans, her bill didn’t pass after it was opposed by the Pentagon in 2014. However, that defeat did not stop her from reintroducing the legislation again in 2016. This time her legislation to remove military sexual assault cases from the chain of command to military lawyers wasn’t even considered when the senate passed the defense bill.
(Senator Claire McCaskill)
Some politicians, like Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, believe it would be better to reform the way the military handles sexual assault cases. She stated that “reforming the military from within is the best path to change.” McCaskill went on to say: “It is time for our military leaders to reevaluate who is being put into these positions. Are folks filling these jobs who aren't succeeding elsewhere? Or are these jobs being given to our best leaders?"
Gillibrand disagrees with McCaskill because over the last few years her office has examined numerous files of sexual assault or rape in the military and the consensus is that the majority of cases never go to trial. Of the cases that do make it to court, roughly 10 percent of those accused of sexual assault will be convicted.
According to a Pentagon report, an estimated average of 70 sexual assaults are committed daily within the U.S. military, or 26,000 per year. This number is much higher considering roughly only 20% report their attack. What’s even more horrific than these numbers is the fact that there is a growing epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military where the accused is usually never held accountable for his actions or if he is convicted in several cases that ruling has been overturned.
This has happened in several cases, including one involving Air Force Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, who was accused of sexually assaulting Kimberly Hanks at the Aviano Air Base in Italy. Despite the fact that he was found guilty by a military jury, and sentenced to one year in jail and dismissal from military service, Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin overturned the conviction.

When President Obama was in office he stated: "I expect consequences. 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, or dishonorably discharged. Period."
With the military being in existence for hundreds of years, the problem of military sexual misconduct is nothing new. However, now the public is being made more aware of what is exactly happening and how grave the problem actually is.
Senator Gillibrand has stated that “the problem can’t change until the military culture changes.” She vows to continue to fight for change.

Sources:

#ASOPmovie #ASOPtour #PTSD #SexualAssault #Military #JillianBullock #TamaraWoods #JohnQuinlan #JoeHunter #LamontFountain  #Rape  #sexualviolence

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Women Veterans Forum 2017

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Women Veterans Forum 2017 A Day Honoring Military and Women Veterans

Temple Military and Veterans Services Center invites you to join us on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 9:30am - 3:30pm in the Howard Gittis Student Center, Room 200, located at 1755 N. 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19122.

The forum theme is HER STORY: "She Wore Her Boots With Pride"---Breaking the Silence- Can We Talk? This is a one day forum honoring women who have served, and will provide military and veteran women an opportunity to have real conversations about the challenges and issues they have experienced while serving and upon returning to civilian life.

This event is FREE and registration is required. Seats are limited. Register today! 

   

Special Guest Luncheon Speaker: Dr. Carol A. Eggert, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired) Sr. Vice President, Military and Veteran Affairs, Comcast NBCUniversal "Breaking the Glass Ceiling in the Military-- Career Development and Transitioning to the Civilian Workforce" Program Agenda
  • Registration - Continental Breakfast
  • Panel Discussion- "Challenges Women Veterans Face in Transitioning from Military to Civilian Life"
  • Luncheon Speaker: Brigadier General Dr. Carol A. Eggert, Sr. Vice President, Military and Veteran Affairs, Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Resource Fair/Health Fair
  • Trailer Talk: Discussion and Screening- "A Sense of Purpose- Fighting For Our Lives" with Film Director/Producer Jillian Bullock (U.S.Army Veteran) & Lead Actress, Tamara Woods (U.S. Air Force Veteran)
  • Beyond The Door: Taking A Time Out- facilitated by Dr. Nancy Isserman, Operation Home and Healing/ Council for Relationships
  • Women Veterans Closet sponsored by The Women's Empowerment Series, Inc. - American Sheroes: Pop-up Closet
Drawing and Prizes Free Event!

Sponsored by Temple Military and Veteran Services Center, Temple Division of Student Affairs, and the Women's Empowerment Series, Inc.

 Women Veterans Forum 2017 Program 

#ASOPmovie #JillianBullock #TamaraWoods #PTSD #Military

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From Crack Street, To Wall Street, To Success

10:46 AM asenseofpurposemovie 0 Comments

During interviews, Jillian Bullock is always asked how she became an award winning filmmaker. To get to that answer the interviewer questions Jillian about her past, because it is quite unusual. It involves getting to know what her past was in order to understand the amazing, and horrific, journey she took to become the success she is today.
Jillian grew up in an untraditional family with her African-American mother, siblings and a white stepfather, Jake, who was a member of the Philadelphia Italian Mafia. While most kids were outside playing games, Jillian was being taught the ways of the Mob. In fact, she saw her first Mob hit when she was nine years old and Jillian shot her first gun when she was eleven.
Jillian also learned about the consequences when someone hurts a Mobster’s child. When Jillian was raped at ten years old, she told no one but Jake. The next day, the rapist was found dead. Around this time, Jillian started training in Tae Kwon Do for self-defense and to channel the anger she had because of the sexual trauma she was dealing with.
Despite Jake teaching Jillian the ways of the Mafia, he also loved movies. In fact, every Sunday he would take Jillian to the movies. It was there that Jillian and Jake would discuss every aspect of the film and watch the credits at the end. Jake instilled in Jillian’s mind that she would one day become a screenwriter and director.
But the road to fulfill that dream would be a long and harrowing one. After Jillian’s mother left Jake and married an abusive man Jillian’s life took a nosedive into hell. Things only worsened when Jake died when Jillian was fourteen. As her best friend, Jake’s death took a traumatic toll on Jillian.
Moving to Florida with her mother, new stepfather, and baby sister the domestic violence continued until Jillian had enough. She jumped in between her mother and stepfather one day when he was beating Jillian’s mother. Using her martial arts skills, she broken his nose.                 What happened next shocked Jillian. Her mother wasn’t appreciative of Jillian’s help. In fact she took her husband’s side. Jillian’s mother ordered her to get out and never return.
At fifteen, Jillian was now homeless in Orlando, Florida with no family or friends. To survive the streets she had to resort to criminal activity and prostitution. Jillian also got strung out on crack cocaine.
After Jillian found out she was pregnant, she knew she needed to change her life. She had always held on to the dream Jake had that she would become a filmmaker one day. Jillian channeled that dream into her fuel to do what was necessary to get off the streets, kick drugs, return to high school, and take care of her baby.
(Jillian, age 17, with one year son, Clinton)
Once she was off the streets and back in school, Jillian struggled to stay drug free. This was a difficult task because she was trying to balance school with raising a baby boy.  With no support or help, Jillian dug deep and held on to what she called her “fighting spirit.”
After a few setbacks, slowly Jillian made the baby steps needed to climb out of the dark hole she was in. She graduated from high school when she was 20 and went on to college. As she worked full-time, she went to La Salle University. Eventually, Jillian added to more children to her family, which she raised as a single parent. It took Jillian eleven years to graduate college, but she refused to quit. During those years, she took film classes and worked on filmmakers’ projects to learn the craft.

(Jillian graduate of La Salle University)
After graduation in 1991, Jillian got an internship on the set of Spike Lee’s movie, “Malcolm X.” From there, she formed her own production company. She has gone on to work on her own projects as well as other filmmakers. Jillian is also a screenwriter, who has sold two scripts, “A Scar Across My Heart” and “The Champion Inside.”
(Jillian, at the Philadelphia branch of the Wall Street Journal)
Miraculously, Jillian earned an internship at the “Wall Street Journal” newspaper while she was in college. Two years later, she became a full time reporter.
In 2012, Jillian put pen to paper and wrote her memoir, HERE I STAND. Since then she has become a professional speaker, certified life coach, fitness expert, mentor, and advocate for people, especially the underdog. People reach out to her daily and ask for her help to transform their lives; everyone from government employees to those in correctional facilities.

Jillian has also gone on to compete in martial arts and boxing. She holds two black belts, one in Tae Kwon Do and the other in Wing Chun. She currently trains in Muay Thai and boxing. Jillian is the creator of “Fighting Spirit Warriors,” a fitness for self-defense program geared to girls and women.
(Jillian, in black shirt, teaching a Fighting Spirit Warriors workshop)
Jillian’s company, Jillian Bullock Enterprises, LLC is an empowerment and entertainment production company. Jillian’s mission, through her company, is to use verbal and written words, videos, films, workshops, and events to help people transform from Victims to Victors, and to help people change the way they look at the underdog or those who struggle with life in general. Jillian’s life of hardships she uses as a tool to show people that their past doesn’t dictate what their future will be.
A Sense Of Purpose Movie Poster, #ASOPmovie
Jillian is currently on a speaking tour for her movie “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives,” which deals with veterans, PTSD and military sexual assault.
To learn more about Jillian, go to www.jbullockenterprises.com.
To learn more about her current film project, go to www.asenseofpurposemovie.com.
To book Jillian as a speaker for your group, organization, company, or event contact Monique Arrington, Business Manager, at – jbullockenterprises@gmail.com.

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A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives Fundraiser

9:06 AM asenseofpurposemovie 0 Comments

#ASOPmovie Fundraiser flyer

Meet Director Jillian Bullock, Producers Lamont Fountain, Delayne Powe, and Joe Hunter, along with Lead Actors Tamara Woods and John Quinlan

#ASOPmovie #ASOPtour #JillianBullock #TamaraWoods  #LamontFountain #JohnQuinlan  #PTSD #Veterans  #military  #militarysexualtrauma #suicide # honor #respect

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No Veteran Should Be Homeless

11:48 AM asenseofpurposemovie 0 Comments

According to a report, The State of Homelessness in America 2016, over half a million people, 564,708, which includes men, women, and children, were living on the streets, in cars, in homeless shelters, or in subsidized transitional housing.

(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez, in “A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives”)
A large number of the homeless are veterans. Despite what conflict men and women serve, from WWII to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of veterans come home to a country that doesn’t serve them well.  47,725, or about 8% of the homeless population, are veterans, with Washington, D.C. having the highest rate of homeless in the county. Minority veterans make up most of the homeless population, with 45% black or Hispanic. 10% of the homeless are women veterans. However, each year that number is rising and women are at a greater risk to become homeless than male veterans.

AT RISK

  • 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. This may be due to poverty, overcrowding in government housing, and lack of support through various veteran networks. Research indicates that veterans are at risk of becoming homeless due to war-related disabilities or disorders, physical disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual assault, traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety, and addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, more than 40,000 homeless vets receive compensation or pension benefits each month, but the amount they receive is nowhere near enough to afford their basic needs, like housing, food, clothing, etc.
Another problem thousands of veterans experience when they are discharged is difficulty finding employment because many of the jobs and skills vets learned while serving in the military aren’t applicable for jobs in civilian life.

SUICIDE

According to the Department of Defense, approximately 22 veterans commit suicide each day, that’s one person every 65 minutes. The rate of suicide among U.S. military veterans is considerably higher when compared to the general public. A report in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine found that a high number of suicides was a result of veterans who live with PTSD due to combatexperience and/or combat-related guilt. Meaning they survived when some of their buddies in their unit did not.
However, the Department of Defense also noted that thousands of veterans and active duty servicemen and women also suffer from PTSD as a result of military sexual trauma (MST).
Although women account for 47 % of sexual assault victims, men who serve in the military are also raped or sexually assaulted at record numbers.
(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez in ASOP movie)
For men, it has been found that they may suffer more severe symptoms after being raped due to the stigma and shame. For them, the emotional and mental pain becomes too much to deal with and suicide seems the only way out.
Dealing with PTSD as a result of being in combat is one thing, but to have this mental disability due to a violent sexual act is something else. Once a service member has been violated a huge sense of betrayal fills their mind. The trust has been broken between the victim and his or her brothers or sisters in arms. Victims can’t get away from their attacker, so they feel trapped, like they have nowhere to turn and no one will help them. In their mind, the fear of reporting the crime is worse than keeping the emotional pain bottled up inside. They also feel the U.S. government has failed them. For victims who gather enough courage to come forward and report what happened to them, they are often met with denial, retaliation or resistance from the government to address this silent epidemic.

Whether they were sexually assaulted or they had to deal with combat during multiple deployments, the fact remains that veterans who have PTSD carry the burden of what they saw, what they did, or what was done to them while they served their country. Thousands come home and are left to deal with psychological or physical scars, maybe both. They often cannot shake the painful memories. As a result, thousands of veterans still sleep with a gun under their pillow, avoid crowds, still have nightmares, have trouble with intimate relationships, resort to drinking and/or using drugs, and much more.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION

(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez in ASOP movie)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the majority of homeless vets suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or other physical and/or psychology problem. Veterans who have PTSD often try to cope by drinking excessively or using illegal or prescription drugs.
According to the VA, more than one in five veterans with PTSD have a substance use disorder and one out of three veterans who seek addiction treatment has PTSD.
For female veterans, the statistics are direr as they are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD or other psychological issues, especially if they are dealing with military sexual trauma.
Numerous studies conducted show there is a direct link between substance abuse, depression, and suicide. When veterans seek help for substance abuse, therapists must also treat them for PTSD or any other mental health issues in order for treatment to be successful.
The problem of veterans’ homelessness impacts not just them, or their family and loved ones, but society as a whole. Veterans are supposed to be seen as heroes because they protect the United States and they make sure American citizens are free and safe. However, the fallen hero, who is now homeless, is looked at in a tragic way by society. People don’t understand how a veteran could succumb to sleeping under a bridge, eating out of trashcans, or begging for money. People truly have no idea what an active member of the military goes through, (post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, physical injuries, or sexual assault), and how that affects them when they are discharged.

HOPE: REACHING OUT TO HELP

  (Actors Kerwin Gonzalez and Tamara Woods in a scene from A Scene of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives)
There is hope as the Veterans Administration and other non-profit organizations work with veterans daily to help them improve their quality of life, especially if they are homeless. The mission of these organizations is to do preventive measures in order to help veterans before they end up on the street or abusing drugs.
Along with housing, veterans need additional job training and skills to get employment, counseling, education, financial assistance, and support from the general public as well as government officials.
The bottom line is men and women who are currently serving and who are veterans risked their lives and fought for their country. They deserve more respect, help, and support from the citizens of the United States.

IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, NEEDS HELP…

VETERAN’S CRISIS LINE


A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives #ASOPmovie #veterans #military #PTSD #militarysexualtrauma #suicide # honor #respect #ASOPtour #jillianbullock#tamarawoods #lamontfountain #johnquinlan

To learn more about A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives, check out the website – www.asenseofpurposemovie.com
#ASOPmovie #JillianBullock #TamaraWoods #LamontFountain #JohnQuinlan #ASOPtour
#veterans #military #PTSD #militarysexualtrauma #suicide # honor #respect

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