Service ribbons adorn the uniform worn by a Maine Army National Guard member. Credit: Troy R. Bennett/BDN

I found Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham’s response to reports of sexual assault and harassment in the Maine Army National Guard, at the very least, lacking in substance and detail. Having provided psychological treatment to women who have suffered lifelong post traumatic stress symptoms as a result of sexual assault and harassment by their peers and superior ranking male soldiers in both the Army and Army National Guard, I am left feeling cynical about fundamental and essential change in the military culture that breeds and supports misogyny and male dominance.

I also believe leadership in the armed services too often turns a blind eye to nonconsensual sexual contact. The predators of sexual assault emotionally and psychologically scar their female victims and deserve court-marshal and criminal prosecution. One must also consider penalties to the military peers of the perpetrator who attempt to intimidate the victim and dismiss the crime against her.

James L McDonald Ph.D.