By | 07/31/2017

MLTF’s memo “Challenging Military Sexual Violence: A Guide to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policies in the U.S. Armed Forces for Servicemembers, MSV Survivors and Their Advocates” has been updated and republished. 

With military sexual assault and harassment still at epidemic levels despite years of Pentagon and Congressional attention, service member advocates are ramping up their efforts to help women and men in the military fight back against the military’s entrenched tradition of sexual violence.

The 20-page memo provides a detailed guide to the recent policies designed to stop military sexual violence (MSV). Challenging Military Sexual Violence: A Guide to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policies in the U S Armed Forces for Servicemembers, MSV Survivors and Their Advocates, written by MLTF’s Executive Director Kathleen Gilberd, goes through the complex regulations that each branch has developed (and continues to update).

“The Guide offers no easy or sure solutions,” said Gilberd, who since the 1980s has conducted MSV workshops for attorneys and counselors around the country. “But it does present an honest appraisal of the choices one faces, the possibilities of redress and the pitfalls that may be encountered.”

The guide is available for free on the organization’s website ( or a print copy can be ordered (a donation is suggested but not required). There will soon be a brochure and social media awareness campaign to promote the guide.

“In recent years, the U.S. military has been tarnished by the public revelation of its history of unpunished sexual abuse within the ranks,” said David Gespass, a member of the MLTF board. “Stories abound of victims who lost their careers when they reported being raped and of their unpunished rapists. Military brass have claimed that they are addressing the problem and have resisted any change to their internal procedures aimed at reducing the prevalence of assault and impunity.”

“Some new protections have been put in place and some remedies are now available,” he continued, “but the system is littered with land mines for victims seeking redress. Our guide was developed to help service members navigate those land mines.”

The guide was produced with the aid of a grant from the NLG Foundation. The MLTF can be contacted by phone at (619) 463-2369, by email at or by mail at 730 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95112.

Read the MSV guide.