A Phenomenological Study on the Culture Within the U.S. Military That Contributes to Sexual Violence Against Women
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Sexual violence within the U.S. military has seen a rise in the number of reported cases since first being tracked 17 years ago by the Department of Defense. There is no clear understanding of why this problem persists and why it affects women more than men. Existing research consists primarily of quantitative studies of large populations with little to no studies on those directly impacted by military sexual violence. A qualitative, phenomenological study can lead to a greater depth of understanding of this problem. The purpose of this study was to explore the culture within the U.S. military as a woman veteran who had experienced sexual violence while serving in the U.S. military. This dissertation in practice aimed to describe the experiences women veterans had with sexual violence while serving on active duty to create a comprehensive sexual violence strategy that seeks to eliminate sexual violence from within the military. The literature review paints a complete picture of the impact of military culture, social patterns, working behaviors, and repercussions of sexual violence faced by servicewomen. The results and findings corroborated the literature review and also revealed positive aspects of military service the participants cherished. The proposed solution to address the prevalence of sexual violence within the military is a cultural reformation that takes these five actions: (1) take an honest look at the military and at oneself within the military, (2) be transparent and show equal respect for all people, (3) increase the number of women in the military to equal numbers, (4) reform military training, services, and the military judiciary system, and (5) reduce the power of hierarchies.
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