FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2018
Former Head of Marines Sexual Assault and Prevention Unit and Protect Our Defenders CEO Col Scott Jensen Responds to Department of Defense Policy on Harassment
Washington, D.C. — Late last week, the Department of Defense unveiled a new policy on harassment within its ranks. While the policy is intended to provide new procedures for various types of harassment prevention and response, its falls woefully short of the serious military justice reforms needed to ensure unit cohesion and strengthen national security.
Today, the former Head of Marines Sexual Assault and Prevention Unit and Protect Our Defenders CEO Col Scott Jensen responded to the Department of Defense’s policy on harassment:
“The Pentagon’s acknowledgement of the rampant harassment problem in the military is a good first step. Unfortunately, the new policy lacks clarity and specific guidance on everything from how investigations will be conducted to reporting standards and criteria.
“Instead of creating a unified, measurable and reportable system of prevention, the Pentagon allows each service to define its own harassment policies, programs, and processes. Asking the services to police themselves has not worked in the past and will not work now. For true reform to occur, military leaders must make substantive changes to Department of Defense policies to ensure consistency, transparency, and accountability across the armed forces. As currently structured, the Pentagon leaves the very organizations that need to be held accountable as the ones dictating the terms.
“Further, by only addressing harassment occurring within the uniformed ranks and excluding civilian employee harassment in an overall policy, the Pentagon separates critical issues into standalone systems that will create friction, broken processes, and victims who do not receive justice. This reform falls well short of the drastic action needed to address harassment and give all Pentagon employees a safe working environment.”
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