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“There is very seldom one sex perpetrator and one victim,” Shadley said. “So in the best case scenario, there are 13,000 perpetrators. That’s terrible, but it’s 1 percent of the total number of soldiers. That should make it easy to solve.
“In my mind, it’s not about sex, it’s about abuse of power,” Shadley said.
Last week, Congress debated stripping commanding officers of their unilateral authority to change or dismiss convictions. It’s also considering requiring that service members found guilty of sexual offenses be dismissed or dishonorably discharged.
Shadley says he plans to meet with military and Washington officials to discuss solutions in June.
But he also thinks the military has made sexual assaults “a human resources problem” instead of a troop safety issue. “We need the military to put the same effort into protecting women from assault as we do protecting soldiers from improvised explosive device [IED] attacks,” he said.
“Prevention of sexual assault is a force protection issue.”
Since Shadley’s book came out and he started speaking on leadership issues, a couple of victims have sought him out because he validates their pain.
“This problem scars women for many years,” Shadley said. “We need to attack this like we attacked the drug problem in the 1980s; there needs to be zero tolerance.”
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