Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: a Neglected Issue within the Department of Defense

Abstract

The purpose of this special section is to highlight the intersection of sexual assault and intimate partner violence – sexual intimate partner violence (SIPV) – within the Department of Defense (DoD). As an introduction to this special section, the editors first define SIPV, and argue that it has been a neglected issue within the DoD. They explore the complexities of addressing this issue within the DoD, including the fact that sexual assault is addressed through different offices depending on whether it was perpetrated by an intimate partner. The authors of this introductory article next preview the contributions of the five research articles within this special section, identifying areas where future research is needed. This article concludes with suggestions for additional actions that the DoD might take to increase awareness of SIPV within the military and to improve prevention of and response to SIPV within the ranks.

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Correspondence to Rachel E. Foster.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not represent those of the United States Air Force, Army, Navy or Department of Defense. The authors are extremely grateful for Dr. Rebecca Macy’s leadership, guidance and support throughout this entire process. Her vision and commitment to ending family and sexual violence is shared with the editors of this special section, and we stand together in pursuit of a better world in which our daughters and sons can live free from fear of victimization.

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Foster, R.E., Thomsen, C.J., Stone, F.P. et al. Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: a Neglected Issue within the Department of Defense. J Fam Viol 35, 307–313 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00135-7

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Keywords

  • Sexual intimate partner violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual violence prevention