Tuesday, January 04, 2005

SARC

As this article from the New York Times notes, the Pentagon has finally ordered a post named "Sexual Assault Response Coordinator" created at every US Military base in the world, as a means to deal effectively with the high rates of sexual assault within the military. I am trying to evoke more positive associations with feminist gains, rather than the "it's-2004-we-should-have-had-this-20-years-ago" type feelings. The coordinator, also called a SARC, appears to be a realistic and effective way of punishing assaulters, in the least, and perhaps discouraging them, at best. In the past women rarely had a superior they felt comfortable discussing sexual assault with, so hopefully incidents will decrease.

This really is an important step for women in an institution known for lagging behind cultural practices.

At the University, we have the Title IX Coordinator, who investigates sexual harrassment and assault, as well as RA's, Provosts, and others who can serve as non-threatening resources for women who have been assaulted. Yet most community police stations lack this. Wouldn't it be amazing this kind of post could, some day, be created in most police stations in the country? So women (and men) who have been assaulted feel there is a safe person to talk to, and we could come close to knowing the true rates of sexual assault.

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