Archive for discrimination

ADDICTION IS A CHRONIC DISEASE, NOT JUST BAD BEHAVIOURS OR BAD CHOICES

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , , , on April 14, 2015 by drjgelb

I came across a discussion via comments online today, in which the participants were becoming increasingly hostile and aggressive with each other, as some denigrated people suffering from drug addiction as “scumbags” who “deserve everything they get” and others tried in vain to explain that addiction is a chronic brain disease. The scientific evidence has progressively mounted in favour of the chronic disease explanation and studies using the latest brain imaging technology, together with an increasingly sophisticated  understanding of molecular biology, has meant that the disease model has prevailed and solidified.

Social and governmental forces continue to be directed at opposing the disease model of addiction, in order to justify the continued labelling of addicts as criminals who require punishment for their bad behaviour and rotten choices. This allows the government to incarcerate addicts, rather than treat them as medically unwell citizens, deserving of medical treatment.

Countries like Portugal and Uruguay have ceased criminally prosecuting users because of the overwhelming scientific evidence that drug addiction is a public health problem and NOT a criminal justice problem. Let me spell it out: Countries like Australia, where harshly punitive criminal sanctions are preferred to drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation, deliberately ignore the recommendations of their own expert advisors, insisting in terribly misguided fashion that any chage in approach to the War on Drugs, “sends the wrong message to youth”. This ignorant and irrational viewpoint continues to be trotted out by politicians unaware that they are seriously damaging our nation’s youth with their retrograde policies.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine, arguably the peak world body in the Addiction Medicine field, has released its updated definition of addiction:

http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction

“August 15, 2011 – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has released a new definition of addiction highlighting that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavioral problem involving too much alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex.” The headline in their report was: “Addiction Is a Chronic Brain Disease, Not Just Bad Behaviors or Bad Choices”

“The new definition resulted from an intensive, four‐year process with more than 80 experts actively working on it, including top addiction authorities, addiction medicine clinicians and leading neuroscience researchers from across the country. The full governing board of ASAM and chapter presidents from many states took part, and there was extensive dialogue with research and policy colleagues in both the private and public sectors.”

“The new definition also describes addiction as a primary disease, meaning that it’s not the result of other causes such as emotional or psychiatric problems. Addiction is also recognized as a chronic disease, like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, so it must be treated, managed and monitored over a life‐time.”

“Research shows that the disease of addiction affects neurotransmission and interactions within reward circuitry of the brain, leading to addictive behaviors that supplant healthy behaviors, while memories of previous experiences with food, sex, alcohol and other drugs trigger craving and renewal of addictive behaviors. Meanwhile, brain circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment is also altered in this disease, resulting in the dysfunctional pursuit of rewards such as alcohol and other drugs. This area of the brain is still developing during teen‐age years, which may be why early exposure to alcohol and drugs is related to greater likelihood of addiction later in life.”

“the disease creates distortions in thinking, feelings and perceptions, which drive people to behave in ways that are not understandable to others around them. Simply put, addiction is not a choice. Addictive behaviors are a manifestation of the disease, not a cause.”

Before the argument re how “bad” addicts are, please carefully read the science at the link above. Much better than all this hostility.

METHAMPHETAMINE OR "CRYSTAL METH"

METHAMPHETAMINE OR “CRYSTAL METH”

GIVE ME A YELLOW STAR! A MOVING AND TIMELY ESSAY.

Posted in PERSONAL with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2015 by drjgelb

Yellow-star

This appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the European Edition of The New York Times

By Eitan Chitayat, TOI

A dreary, cloth patch sewn in the shape of a Star of David that every Jew was forced to wear in Nazi Germany along with every country the Germans conquered; every country allied with Germany ; every culture looking to expose the hated Jew.

The guilty Jew. The filthy Jew. The stealing Jew. The disgusting Jew. The less-than-human Jew. The Jew that can only do wrong – for that is, of course, all we do.

The yellow star was forced on us. Rammed down our throats. It stood for dishonor and was associated with anti-semitism as you probably know. It was to be a badge of shame like Hawthorne’s Scarlet letter. But 6 million times worse.

Today? Shame, can take a hike. Give me a yellow star. Find one and give it to me, quick.

I want to wear a yellow star above my left breast where each and every Holocaust victim was forced to don one. I want to walk around with a yellow star on every solitary piece of clothing I own. On my American Apparel V-neck, my Nike sweatshirt, Ralph Lauren sweater, my Champion hoodie, my Diesel button-down, H&M jacket, Adidas jersey and Gap blazer. I’ll wear it at the beach on my bare chest if I have to.

I want to walk down the streets of Paris and confront people like this. Outside the White house near these friendly haters confronting an ex-marine. In Brussels, the Netherlands, the mosques of Berlin, in streets of Canada – and England especially – to meet this idiot. I’d like to go to campuses in the States, like this one at the University of California, San Diego to talk to this girl here – I’ll be wearing my yellow star.

I want everyone to see me with it and hear them say as I walk in,

‘Hey, here comes the Jew’, he’s just like the rest of them.
He thinks he’s so cool and different.
But he’s just a dirty Jew.
A mass murderer.
He kills Christian and Muslim children and then uses their blood for matzah, just like the rest of the Jews.
They carpet bomb people.
They think they’re so great with their studies and their success.
They kill children, those Jews.
Don’t you know? It’s the Jews who own Hollywood, the media, the banks.
They’re the scum of the earth. They steal things.
Hitler was right. What was that hashtag?
#Hitlerwasright.
Let’s go spraypaint swastikas on his grandparents’ graves.
Let’s go beat him up.
Let’s kill him. Let’s murder a rabbi in Miami.

That’ll teach them — to exist’.

I want that yellow badge so bad, my blood is boiling.

B*tch, to me that yellow star is a symbol of everything that is good. Not just for me, but for the world.

It’s a symbol of surviving evil. It’s heritage and knowledge. Tolerance and optimism. It’s strength and confidence in the face of the weakness and insecurity of those not being taught well enough what their good mamas should have taught them. That yellow star is courage. It’s education. Resilience. It’s right over wrong. It’s bravery and sacrifice, conviction, and it is life.

It is testament to all who tragically died wearing it, may their memories be blessed, so that their future surviving brothers and sisters know to never be afraid of who they are again. To never be silent again. Whether a Jew or an Israeli, to not apologise for surviving. Thanks to them and indeed, for them, this yellow badge ceased being a badge of shame a long time ago.

For me, it’s a yellow F**k-You-I’m-Here-to-Stay star.

It’s a star that blinds out any other emblem that preaches hatred. It drowns out the form, shape and color of swastikas, the black flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and the green of Hamas or the yellow of Hezbollah.

I hope I get to meet any liar that calls me a baby killer or accuses me of genocide or of mass murder. I’ll smash my yellow star in their face, and I’ll smash it in there good. Let them see and remember what true genocide is. What real baby killing is. What ethnic cleansing and mass murder really looks like. What (attempting to) wipe out a race really is. And where ignorance and hatred and the lies you choose to get behind will lead you. Those accusers won’t have to look at history. Because it’s happening all around us. Right now. Across the globe, there’s no escaping what we’re seeing.

Before being herded off to the gas chambers around 70 years ago Jews wearing their yellow star were hearing ‘Kill the Jews’, ‘Heil Hitler’, ‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’, ‘Stealing Jew!’ – and all that before being ostracized from their communities, stripped of their belongings, property, identities, humanity and eventually, their lives. They were hearing words. It happened in many other countries too. Like my father’s country – Iraq. A country he was expelled from for being a Jew. For being a dirty Jew.

It Always. Begins With Words.

The same kind of words we’re hearing now here on social media. At demonstrations. In conversations. Words that have nothing to do with Israel. Palestine. Politics. The Middle East or anything. You might not be down with ISIS and Hamas, but if you aren’t trying to expose them 24/7 for who and what they are, then you’re not part of the solution to rid the world of them.

The world’s abuzz right now with anti-Israel and anti-semitic words. Anti-semitic words that Jews like myself are used to. I’m talking to you, Dieudonné,  Mel Gibson, Roger Waters. And I’m talking to you, Radical Islamic leaders, standing behind your pulpits preaching lies and hate and division in the name of Allah.

I’m talking to you, blind followers of radical Islam, congregating and chanting hatred in your city squares, at town demonstrations, plotting Jew hatred in your homes or openly amongst friends, in the media, and online – in democratic countries taking advantage of the free speech the West gave you, amongst mostly free-loving people.

I’m talking to you, supposedly liberal minded people – friends of mine, even – who spend way too much time talking about my Israel fighting for its existence in a defensive war, but very little talking about hundreds of thousands being murdered in Syria. In Iraq. About people being murdered for being followers of any other religion save Islam. Very little talking about ISIS taking over the middle east and putting heads on spikes, shooting people in ditches by the thousands. Very little time talking about Syrians being gassed and a puke-inducing Turkish Prime minister spewing the kind of virulent anti-semitism which ends with only one thing.

You, my left-wing liberals, are choosing the side of hate. You’re decidedly ignorant. And you suck. Saying death and war is awful and that killing should stop is as far as we’ll agree. But until you provide a solution for ISIS, Hamas, Hezballah, Al Quaeda and the other folks you seem to send your Jib Jab Christmas cards to, just do the civilised world a favor and go back to your Fascist newspaper articles who seem to know how to write, but do nothing else. And don’t forget 9/11, London’s 7/7, Spain’s Madrid train bombings or the Boston Marathon while you’re at it.

Take a good hard look at my yellow star. Look at where it came from. Look what was done after we, the Jews, were forced to wear it and then ask yourselves, are we doing the same to others? Us Jews? Us Israelis? Are we hellbent on exterminating people? Is that really what we want? Or are others doing that which you think we’re doing – others you refuse to be vocal about nor condemn with a simple post or click of your “Like” button.

Fools, I’m not going anywhere.

Never again. Though some might wish it, NEVER AGAIN.

For anyone else reading this from afar who might agree with what I’m saying, Jews and non-Jews alike, don’t feel sorry for me, my family, my friends. Don’t feel sorry for us. We’re fine and we’re not afraid. I’d like to think you know the score and that you’re probably in this with us. Not just because you know it won’t stop with us, but because you’re sane and you’re not blind.

Don’t be afraid because I’m not intending to be a victim. None of us are. And I hope you aren’t either. My yellow star is staring extremism in the face. All of our yellow stars are staring everyone in the face. Blinding extremists with motherf*****g light in a world that’s becoming increasingly black.

Am I down with the yellow star? You’re damn right I am.

Read more: Down with the Yellow Star | Eitan Chitayat | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-with-yellow-star/#ixzz3LrGFiN5H Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook.

TIMELINE OF DISTINGUISHING CLOTHING FOR JEWS:

Medieval and Early Modern Europe

1215
Fourth Lateran Council headed by Pope Innocent III declares: “Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress.” 
1219
Pope Honorius III issues a dispensation to the Jews of Castile. Spanish Jews normally wore turbans in any case, which presumably met the requirement to be distinctive.
1222
Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton orders English Jews to wear a white band two fingers broad and four fingers long.
1227
Synod of Narbonne rules: “That Jews may be distinguished from others, we decree and emphatically command that in the center of the breast (of their garments) they shall wear an oval badge, the measure of one finger in width and one half a palm in height.” 
1228
James I orders Jews of Aragon to wear the badge.
1265
The Siete Partidas, a legal code enacted in Castile by Alfonso X but not implemented until many years later, includes a requirement for Jews to wear distinguishing marks.
1267
In a special session, the Vienna city council forces Jews to wear Pileum cornutum (a cone-shaped head dress, common in medieval illustrations of Jews); the badge does not seem to have been worn in Austria.
1269, June 19
France. (Saint) Louis IX of France orders all Jews found in public without a badge (Frenchrouelle or roueLatinrota) to be fined ten livres of silver. The enforcement of wearing the badge is repeated by local councils, with varying degrees of fines, at Arles 1234 and 1260, Béziers 1246, Albi 1254, Nîmes 1284 and 1365, Avignon 1326 and 1337, Rodez 1336, and Vanves 1368.
1274
The Statute of Jewry in England, enacted by King Edward I, enforces the regulations. “Each Jew, after he is seven years old, shall wear a distinguishing mark on his outer garment, that is to say, in the form of two Tables joined, of yellow felt of the length of six inches and of the breadth of three inches.” 
1294, October 16
Erfurt. The earliest mention of the badge in Germany.[3]
1315–1326
Emir Ismail Abu-I-Walid forces the Jews of Granada to wear the yellow badge.
1321
Henry II of Castile forces the Jews to wear the yellow badge.
1415, May 11
Bull of the Antipope Benedict XIII orders the Jews to wear a yellow and red badge, the men on their breast, the women on their forehead.
1434
Emperor Sigismund reintroduces the badge at Augsburg.
1528
The Council of Ten of Venice allows the newly arrived famous physician and professor Jacob Mantino ben Samuel to wear the regular black doctors’ cap instead of Jewish yellow hat for several months (subsequently made permanent), upon the recommendation of the French and English ambassadors, the papal legate, and other dignitaries numbered among his patients.
1555
Pope Paul IV decrees, in his Cum nimis absurdum, that the Jews should wear yellow hats.
1566
King Sigismund II passes a law that required Lithuanian Jews to wear yellow hats and head coverings. The law was abolished twenty years later.
1710
Frederick William I of Prussia abolished the mandatory Jewish yellow patch in return for a payment of 8,000 thaler (about $75,000 worth of silver at 2007 prices) each.

Nazi Europe

1935, 15 September
The Nazi regime announces the Nuremberg Laws, which strip Jews of German citizenship and ban intermarriage between Jews and those of German blood.
1938, August 17
Jewish Germans and stateless Jews with Austrian citizenship are required to adopt additional middle names (mostly Israel or Sarah, few other derogatory names considered “Jewish” were alternatively possible) to be used at any occasion such as signatures, visit cards, addresses, firms etc.
1938, October
Jewish Germans had to turn in their passports to get them stamped in a black J. As Jewish Austrians had been denied German citizenship, their Austrian passports became void.
1939, January
Jewish Germans and Austrians had to adopt special identity cards to be carried on them whenever away from home.
1939, September and October
A number of local German occupational commanders ordered Jewish Poles in their areas to wear an identifying mark under the threat of death. There were no consistent requirements as to its color and shape: it varies from a white armband to a yellow Star of David badge.
1939, 23 November
Hans Frank ordered all Jewish Poles above the age of 11 years in German-occupied Poland to wear white armbands with a blue Magen David on.
1940
A popular legend portrays king Christian X of Denmark wearing the yellow badge on his daily morning horseback ride through the streets of Copenhagen, followed by non-Jewish Danes responding to their king’s example, thus preventing the Germans from identifying Jewish citizens. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has explained that the story was not true. No order requiring Jews to wear identifying marks was ever introduced in Denmark.
1941, June 4
Jews in Independent State of Croatia ordered to wear “Jewish insignia”.
1941, July
Jewish Poles in German-occupied Soviet-annexed Poland, Jewish Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians as well as Soviet Jews in German-occupied areas were obliged to wear white armbands or yellow badges.
1941, August 8
All Romanian Jews were ordered to wear the yellow badge.
1941, August 13
The yellow badge was the only standardised identifying mark in the German-occupied East; other signs were forbidden.
1941, September 1
Jewish Germans and Jews with citizenship of annexed states (Austrians, Czechs, Danzigers) from the age of six years were ordered to wear the yellow badge when in public.
1941, September 9
Slovakia ordered its Jews to wear yellow badges.
1941/1942
Romania started to force Jews in newly annexed territories, denied Romanian citizenship, to wear the yellow badge.

 

Two Jewish women in Occupied Paris in June 1942 wearing Magen David badges as required by Nazi authorities.

1942, March 13
The Gestapo ordered Jewish Germans and Jews with citizenship of annexed states to mark their apartments or houses at the front door with a white badge.
1942, April 29
Jewish Dutch people forced to wear the yellow badge.
1942, June 3
Jewish Belgians forced to wear the yellow badge.
1942, June 7
Jews in occupied France were ordered to wear a yellow star, but the Vichy Regime refused to comply with that.
1942, August
With the German annexation of Luxembourg, the yellow badge was introduced there.
1942, August
Under German pressure, Bulgaria ordered its Jewish citizens to wear small yellow buttons, but contravention was not prosecuted.
1942, November
With the occupation of the French Zone libre Jews there were also forced to wear the yellow badge.
1944, March 31
After the occupation of Hungary, the German occupants ordered Jewish Hungarians and Jews with defunct other citizenships (Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Yugoslavian) in Hungarian-annexed areas to wear the yellow badge.

THE NEW JIM CROW

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , , on August 2, 2013 by drjgelb

I’ve republished this article from Wikipedia because a functional genocide by stealth has been occurring in the U.S. and has been justified by successive administrations as just part of the “War on Drugs” As you will read below, nothing could be further from the truth and the facts are so alarming that any defender of equality should be so outraged as to be propelled into action.

The New Jim Crow is a name given to a category of race-related social, political, and legal phenomena in the United States; the name derives from the original Jim Crow laws that prevailed in the US through the 1960s. Michelle Alexander, a civil rights litigator and legal scholar, borrowed the name for her book, The New Jim Crow, published in 2010 by The New Press.

According to the author, what has been altered since the collapse of Jim Crow is not so much the basic structure of US society, as the language used to justify its affairs. She argues that when people of color are disproportionately labeled as “criminals,” this allows the unleashing of a whole range of legal discrimination measures in employment, housing, education, public benefits, voting rights, jury duty, and so on.[11]

Alexander explains that it took her years to become fully aware and convinced of the phenomena she describes, despite her professional civil rights background; she expects similar reluctance and disbelief on the part of many of her readers. She believes that the problems besetting African American communities are not merely a passive, collateral side effect of poverty, limited educational opportunity or other factors, but a consequence of purposeful government policies. Alexander has concluded that mass incarceration policies, which were swiftly developed and implemented, are a “comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”[12]

Alexander contends that in 1982 the Reagan administration began an escalation of the “War on Drugs,” purportedly as a response to a crack cocaine crisis in black ghettos. However this escalation was announced well before crack cocaine arrived in most inner city neighborhoods. During the mid-1980s, as the use of crack cocaine increased to epidemic levels in these neighborhoods, federal drug authorities publicized the problem, using scare tactics to generate support for their already-declared escalation.[13] The government’s successful media campaign made possible an unprecedented expansion of law enforcement activities in America’s inner city neighborhoods, and this aggressive approach fueled widespread belief in conspiracy theories that posited government plans to destroy the black population.

In fact, in 1998 the CIA acknowledged that during the 1980s the Contra faction covertly supported by the US in Nicaragua had been involved in smuggling cocaine into the US and distributing it in US cities. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) efforts to expose these illegal activities were blocked by Reagan officials, which contributed to an explosion of crack cocaine consumption in US inner city neighborhoods. More aggressive enforcement of federal drug laws resulted in a dramatic increase in street level arrests for possession. Disparate sentencing policies (the crack cocaine v. powdered cocaine penalty disparity was 100-1 by weight and remains 18-1 even after recent reform efforts) meant that a disproportionate number of inner city residents were charged with felonies and sentenced to long prison terms, because they tended to purchase the more affordable crack version of cocaine, rather than the powdered version commonly consumed in the suburbs.[14][15]

Alexander argues that the “War on Drugs” has had a devastating impact on inner city African American communities, on a scale entirely out of proportion to the actual dimensions of criminal activity taking place within these communities. During the past three decades, the US prison population has exploded from 300,000 to more than two million, with the majority of the increase due to drug convictions.[16] This has led to the US having the world’s highest incarceration rate, exceeding the rates of a number of regimes strongly criticized by the US government as highly repressive. The US incarceration rate is eight times that of Germany, a comparatively developed large democracy.[17] Alexander claims that the US is unparalleled in the world in focusing enforcement of federal drug laws on racial and ethnic minorities. In the capital city of Washington, D.C. three out of four young African American males are expected to serve time in prison.[18] While studies show that quantitatively Americans of different races consume illegal drugs at similar rates,[19] in some states black men have been sent to prison on drug charges at rates twenty to fifty times those of white men.[20] The proportion of African American men with some sort of criminal record approaches 80% in some major US cities, and they become marginalized, part of what Alexander calls “a growing and permanent undercaste.”[21][22]

Alexander maintains that this undercaste is hidden from view, invisible within a maze of rationalizations, with mass incarceration its most serious manifestation. Alexander borrows from the term “racial caste,” as it is commonly used in scientific literature, to create “undercast,” denoting a “stigmatized racial group locked into inferior position by law and custom.” By mass incarceration she refers to the entire web of laws, rules, policies and customs that make up the criminal justice system and which serve as a gateway to permanent marginalization in the undercast. Once released from prison, new members of this undercast face a “hidden underworld of legalized discrimination and permanent social exclusion.”

According to Alexander, crime and punishment are poorly correlated, and the present US criminal justice system has effectively become a system of social control unparalleled in world history, with its targets largely defined by race. The rate of incarceration in the US has soared, while its crime rates have generally remained similar to those of other Western countries, where incarceration rates have remained stable. The current rate of incarceration in the US is six to ten times greater than in other industrialized nations, and Alexander maintains that this disparity is not related to the actual rates of crime or their increase, but can be traced mostly to the artificially invoked “War on Drugs” and its associated discriminatory policies.[23] In 1973 the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals of the Justice Department found overwhelming evidence that juvenile detention centers, jails and prisons increase crime rather than reduce it; they recommended the elimination of existing juvenile detention centers and no further construction of adult facilities.[24] During the next few decades, actual developments went in the opposite direction; the US embarked on an unprecedented expansion of its juvenile detention and prison systems.[25][26]

Alexander notes that the civil rights community has been reluctant to get involved in this issue, concentrating primarily on protecting affirmative action gains, which mainly benefit an elite group of high-achieving African Americans. At the other end of the social spectrum are the young black men who are under active control of the criminal justice system (currently in prison, or on parole or probation) – approximately one-third of the young black men in the US. Criminal justice was not listed as a top priority of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in 2007 and 2008, or of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2009. The NAACP and the ACLU have been involved in legal action, and grassroots campaigns have been organized, however Alexander feels that generally there is a lack of appreciation of the enormity of the crisis. According to her, mass incarceration is “the most damaging manifestation of the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement,” and those who feel that the election of Barack Obama represents the ultimate “triumph over race,” and that race no longer matters, are dangerously misguided.[27]

Alexander writes that Americans are ashamed of their racial history, and therefore avoid talking about race, or even class, so the terms used in her book will seem strangely unfamiliar to many. Americans want to believe that everybody is capable of upward mobility, given enough effort on his or her part; this assumption forms a part of the national collective self-image. Alexander points out that a large percentage of African Americans are blocked by the discriminatory practices of an ostensibly colorblind criminal justice system, which end up creating an undercaste where upward mobility is severely constrained.

Alexander believes that the existence of the New Jim Crow system is not disproved by the election of Barack Obama and other examples of exceptional achievement among African Americans, but on the contrary the New Jim Crow system depends on such exceptionalism. She contends that the system does not require overt racial hostility or bigotry on the part of other racial groups; indifference serves its purpose.

Alexander argues that the system reflects an underlying racial ideology and will not be significantly disturbed by half-measures such as laws mandating shorter sentences; like its predecessors the new system of racial control has been largely immunized from legal challenge. She writes that a human tragedy is unfolding under our watch, and The New Jim Crow is intended to stimulate a much-needed national discussion “about the role of the criminal justice system in creating and perpetuating racial hierarchy in the United States.” [28]

THE CHIEF OF THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY LAYS DOWN THE LAW ON BULLYING AND HARRASSMENT!

Posted in PRACTICE with tags , , , on June 15, 2013 by drjgelb

Message from the Chief of the Australian Army, Lt General David Morrisson AO, delivered to members of the Army on Thursday 13th June 2013.

Excellent message, long overdue. ADF members are protected by Commonwealth laws guaranteeing them a working environment without discrimination & harassment and certainly without sexual assault or rape. That the chain of command reporting process has consistently failed to ensure timely and appropriate application of the law, has been acknowledged and recommendations have been made to address this issue. Women are not the only victims of cowardly bullies and the loss of highly skilled servicemen and women due to such behaviour or the failure to deal with perpetrators adequately, is impacting heavily on a Defence Force already having difficulties recruiting. The financial costs are also painful as procurement of much needed equipment has had to be delayed to meet the costs of recruiting and training replacements for service personnel who decide to leave and paying compensation. Long term effects on victims can seriously harm their prospects for future employment and can lead to further costs for the Commonwealth in compensation, rehabilitation and retraining costs. In a modern Defence Force, there is absolutely no place for juvenile, attention-seeking or destructive behaviour and a zero tolerance approach is essential. With 19,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. military last year, it is clear that fairly drastic action is required. Australia’s Army Chief is angry because he and others have repeated the message many times with little effect in recent years and he did not expect to have to be as stern as a school principal to make his orders crystal clear.

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