Reports of sexual assaults and inadequate responses have roiled campuses and the armed services alike during the past two years, pushing college presidents and military brass into an unwelcome spotlight. Congress, federal agencies, the White House, and victims of assault are calling not only for new, more-effective policies, but also for a broad change in institutional culture.
Both higher education and the military are backbones of society, with vital missions that include the development of young people. Now both face growing expectations that they heal a deeply rooted social ill. The call to chancellors and generals: Do better by the students and service members in your charge. Fix this problem.
The expectations bring many things: ample publicity, government interest, and a laserlike focus on process. What they don’t necessarily provide are answers.
For decades, activists have raised the issue and argued for better resources for victims. Every so often, a high-profile incident has sparked outrage and promises of change.
This time the attention is acute. In both worlds, survivors—as many identify themselves—are driving the discussion. They are optimistic that a combination of grass-roots advocacy, legislative action, and sustained media exposure will lead to meaningful progress. <Read more.>