Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Military sexual assault still a shameful secret
It is time for a male taboo, buried deep in military culture, to be exposed and acknowledged for what it is, says a war psychiatrist who consults on military sexual trauma.
Alexandre Kamnerdsiri says secrecy surrounds the occurrence of male-on-male sexual assault in military units, particularly in times of combat, high stress and isolation.
The assault and the subsequent secrecy not only cause the victims distress but can impact on their mental health. This can compound combat stress and have dire consequences for the rest of their lives.
Dr Kamnerdsiri will be addressing the Asia-Oceania Federation of Sexology conference in Brisbane next week. Born in Thailand, he served in the Greek army and is currently based in France.
From his position on the educational committee of the International Society for Sexual Medicine, he promotes research into all forms of military sexual trauma.
He says male-on-male assaults in the military are greatly under-reported.