MO--Head of National Guard program should be fired, SNAP says
For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 17, 2016
The head of the Missouri National Guard's Sexual Assault Prevention program should be fired for saying that assault reports by Donald Trump's alleged victims "bore" her.
The pain of sexual violence matters, whether it happened ten days or ten years ago. For a purported “victim’s advocate” to say she’d rather hear about recent assaults because older assaults “bore” her is dumb and hurtful.
(Buhr isn’t being misquoted here. These are her own words, posted on her own Facebook page.)
Buhr says she doesn’t want her public comments to lead others to think she’s “dismissive” of rape victims. Sorry. Too late. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t proclaim that older victims are “boring” while claiming to care about younger victims.
Buhr has reduced the chance she can be effective. If even one victim of assault in the Guard is weighing whether to report her rapist, is told Buhr is the person to call, finds out what Buhr says, and stays silent in frustration and continues to suffer in silence, that’s a tragedy. And, it’s likely to lead to more sexual violence. That’s a risk that Guard officials should not take.
An apology or a “clarification” isn’t enough. Nor should she be allowed to resign. A strong signal must be sent that the Guard does, indeed, take sexual assault seriously.
If kids are to be safer, adults must make it easier, not harder, for victims to report sexual violence. Buhr’s selfish callous comments are making it harder.
If victims are to be healed, adults must welcome their disclosures and respond to their suffering whenever victims are strong enough to step forward. Guard officials must show, by their actions, that they understand and accept this simple reality. They must oust Buhr.
It’s also worth noting what Buhr did NOT say. She could have praised victims who step forward. She didn’t. She could have thanked victims who disclose not just their pain, but their identities. She didn’t. She could have criticized those who disbelieve victims. She didn’t. She could have applauded journalists who investigate reports of sexual assault, especially against powerful individuals. She didn’t.
Buhr says there’s “no tolerance” of sexual assault in the Missouri National Guard. It’s critical that everyone in the Guard believes this. But fewer do and will because of Buhr’s actions and inactions. So it’s crucial that her superiors fire her.
No matter what Missouri National Guard officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered sexual violence in institutions to protect others by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Messenger: Trump's sexual assault talk 'bores' Missouri Guard's victim advocate
By Tony Messenger, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
If you’re a member of the armed services and you have been sexually assaulted, there’s a good chance you never reported the crime committed against you.
That’s because most women in the military who are sexually assaulted don’t report the crime.
In 2014, the Department of Defense reports, 85 percent of sexual assault victims in the military didn’t report the attacks against them. Part of the concern is that the perpetrator of the crime is often in the chain of command.
That is a similar sentiment expressed by . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.