Announcement


Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC) has released an online Community Study Survey, as a result of an award given by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

The study, the first of its kind, will provide a better understanding of the health care disparities and possible inaccessibility for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) servicemember families that may have resulted from the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)’ policy. It will also highlight some of the challenges that the LGB servicemember family community continues to face today.

“We are members of a community that for many years has been hidden and not heard from,” proclaimed MPFC President, Ariana Bostian‐Kentes, “Mental health is just one of the realms in which the needs of the LGBT military family community have yet to be addressed and we are working to change that now. We intend to work closely with MPFC’s coalition members and other independent organizations to support all families of those serving our country.”

According to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, reliable consumer health information helps people understand and advocate for their health and the health of their families, whether the information addresses specific health conditions and treatments or prevention and wellness. Through this survey, it may now be possible to bring consumer health information resources to a previously underserved population; improved physical and mental health may finally become a reality through targeted services.

Please take a few moments and share your experiences and thoughts by participating in the survey here. MPFC ensures anonymity of all those who choose to participate.

About Military Partners and Families Coalition (MPFC): MPFC is a private non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 2011 by a group of partners of active duty U.S. Armed forces servicemembers station in the U.S. and overseas. MPFC provides support, resources, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military partners and their families. For more information, go to www.milpfc.org.

04-03-12 By Stuart I. Quinn, Program Coordinator, MPFC

 

Originally posted at: http://www.sldn.org/blog/archives/guest-blog-military-partners-families-coalition-seeks-answers/

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A new organization has formed to address rape and gender violence in conflict and war-torn areas around the world.

 

“Organizations and individuals around the world have worked tirelessly to amplify the voices of survivors and stop rape. The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict unites us into a powerful and coordinated effort for change.

We are the first ever global collaboration between Nobel Peace Laureates, international advocacy organizations, and groups working at the regional and community levels in conflict.

The Campaign will demand urgent and bold political leadership to prevent rape in conflict, to protect civilians and rape survivors, and call for justice for all—including effective prosecution of those responsible. These three pillars of the Campaign—PREVENT, PROTECT, PROSECUTE—signal a comprehensive effort to stop rape in conflict.

Our first four focus countries—Burma, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya—represent places where immediate, coordinated action is needed. Within these four countries we know that our united efforts can make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.

We are excited to announce our launch on May 6 with a Week of Action.
Join us and Take the Pledge.

 

“Don’t forget that this is your Campaign –
every member and every action counts!”

Conference Report 2011 |Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

U.S.-Japan Deal Withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

 

Bob Kovach and Chelsea J. Carter
CNN
April 27, 2012

 

Roughly half the U.S. Marines on Okinawa will be transferred under an agreement announced Thursday that will reduce the military footprint in Japan, easing local resentments over the amount of land being used by American forces.

Some 9,000 Marines along with their family members will be transferred under the agreement, with about 5,000 being sent to Guam as part of a military buildup on the U.S. territory in the Pacific, according to a joint statement released by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.

“I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.

To read the full story at the CNN web site, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee, U.S. Department of Defense, April 26, 2012

US, Japan Reach Agreement to Move 9,000 Marines, Voice of America, April 27, 2012

U.S., Japan Agree on Okinawa Troop Relocation, American Forces Press Service, April 27, 2012

US to Move Marines Out of Japan, The Guardian, April 27, 2012

Despite Election-Year Wrangling, Senate Renews Domestic Violence Law

 

Laurie Kellman
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2012

The Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act; it is the first time since the law was passed in 1994 that there has been opposition to a renewal, and renewing the law in the House may be more difficult.

The Senate overcame election-year gender politics Thursday to pass a bill renewing the government’s main domestic violence program. The 68-31 vote marked the first time since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994 that its renewal has drawn opposition in the Senate, reflecting the increasing polarization of the chamber and hair-trigger political sensitivities over women’s issues in this presidential and congressional election year.

“In 2012, we should be beyond questioning the need for the Violence Against Women Act,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. He urged the House to act quickly so President Barack Obama can sign the renewal into law.

To read the full story at the Christian Science Monitor, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, Roll Call, April 26, 2012

Senate OKs Violence Against Women Act, Talk Radio News Service, April 26, 2012

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, Think Progress, April 26, 2012

Violence Against Women Act, The Obamacrat™, April 26, 2012

CNO: ‘Sexual Assault is an Attack on a Sailor’

 

Sam Fellman
Navy Times
April 2, 2012

Across the force, Navy personnel will attend educational standdowns in April that highlight ways sailors can respond to — and prevent — sexual assaults. The two hours worth of training is part of the Navy’s latest initiative to get sailors to report more offenses and to reduce the stubbornly-high number of assaults. It emphasizes that watching out for each other is everyone’s responsibility.

 

 

As for the severity of the problem, Navy officials are not mincing words.

“Folks, we’ve got to face the facts — sexual assault is an attack on a sailor,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert wrote in post entitled “We have a problem…” on his official blog Sunday. “On average, these attacks take place every day.”

To read the full article at the Navy Times web site, click here.

 

Navy Personal Command — Sexual Assault

 

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month “Hurts one. Affects all”

 

Nationally, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) occurs in April and commits to raising awareness and promoting the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education. SAAM provides commands/installations an annual opportunity to highlight Department of Defense (DoD) and Service policies addressing sexual assault prevention and response. DoD policies address sexual assault prevention and seek to establish a climate of confidence in which:

education and training create an environment in which sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated;

victims of sexual assault receive the care and support that they need; and,

offenders are held accountable for their actions.

 

The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

 

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno’s public service announcement on preventing sexual assault for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

 

For additional reporting and information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), click the following links.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month – Home

MyDuty.mil — Hurts one. Affects all.

U.S. Army — National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

USMC  – SAPR Program

Office on Violence Against Women — U.S. Department of Justice

dcmilitary.com

 

SAPR.MIL | ARMY SHARP | MARINE CORPS COMMUNITY SERVICES | NAVY SAPR
AIR FORCE SAPR | COAST GUARD SAPRO | NATIONAL GUARD SAPR | MILITARY ONESOURCE

DOD Implements Changes to Sexual Assault Response

 

Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
April 2, 2012

 

The Defense Department has refined new methods to aid sexual assault victims whether reporting a crime or seeking assistance as they transition from service, the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) said here March 30.

“We have several new options for victims of sexual assault,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog. “First, if you’ve been a victim of sexual assault in the military you now have the option of requesting an expedited transfer. We signed that into effect in December.”

“If you find it untenable or unbearable in the organization that you’re at … you can request to be transferred,” she added.

Hertog said a service member’s local commander has 72 hours to respond to the request for transfer, and if denied there is an option to take it to the first flag or general officer in the chain of command who also has 72 hours to respond.

To read the full article on the U.S. Department of Defense web site, click here.

 

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