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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


Rampant sexual assault is a dark stain on the prestige of the United States military. Reported cases of sexual assault have risen year-after-year over the past decade, and the statistics make it abundantly clear that the systems currently in place to protect those who have sworn to defend us have failed. In the months since the horrific and highly publicized death of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, the American public has seen an increasing number of calls for sweeping change to the ways that sexual harassment and sexual assault are handled in the military, but there are a number of barriers that stand in the way of sustainable reform. Foremost among these challenges is the chain of command involvement in the reporting and prosecution process, which is often avoided by victims out of a legitimate fear of workplace retaliation.

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