Knowledge is power when puttin’ on a protest

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By Diana Danis

Service: Women Who Serve Military Women’s Coalition, Sexual Violence Policy Chair

The hashtags that steer women and men assaulted in the military are abundantly clear: #MeToo, #MeTooMilitary. Why aren’t we saying #ArrestThePerps? Heck of an introduction to a theme common in the military, on our campuses, and in many American workplaces.

Because this ain’t stoppin’ anytime soon we are consolidating as often as possible with #BLM, Latina Organizations, National Women’s Organizations, Native American Tribes, Civic Groups and America’s Heroes Group and more, for peaceful non-violent protests.

Puttin’ on a protest: what do we put on the signs?

Before you buy a t-shirt, paint a sign and head down to your local protest, pick up some knowledge.

Learn about what happens to America’s daughters and sons on bases and campuses and how leadership lets most of it slide. Find out how it morally harms the nation’s young adults, just beginning to thrive.

Do you know how desegregation got rolling? President Truman did all the standard commissions, investigations and reports. When it was done and Congress didn’t want to play, he wrote and signed an Executive Order to immediately desegregate the military.

It started immediately and took until the end of the Korean War. By the 1960s desegregation had moved across America and before the end of the decade every major law allowing segregated environments fell. All because Truman wasn’t a coward.

The military has led society to great change since then with the integration of women into the services. Apart from the assault and rape circumstances, it has worked out okay for the most part; and lo and behold, it has followed into the civilian world and women are working in every field, everywhere. All because the military took the leap.

Congress and the military could implement corrective action overnight to fix some wrongs with treatment of victims of sexual trauma. Congress could pass a handful of laws quickly, that we keep asking for and have not yet hit paper. Making sexual harassment a judicial punishment and putting all sex criminals on the national sex offenders registry would make a big difference, as well as cross-matching their DNA with the FBI DNA database when they go in the military.

And that by-stander mess. Why do people just watch some absolutely vile grunge go down when they know it’s just going to escalate? Put real punishment behind that by-stander participation in the military, and on campuses, and watch data change nearly overnight.

Civilians: you are the key to getting this done.

Here’s the deal. Military sexual trauma survivors are NOT giving in. Neither are our young people on campuses. The military leads social change when it wants to. It needs to make a decision to be decent. Everyone needs to get on board and fix this social justice nightmare.

** Join “Our Sister’s Keepers Movement” on Facebook.

** Founder, Katie Chorbak created an organizing packet. Set up a protest in your neck of the woods. The next big one is October 3.

“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it.” – John Lewis

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