Good Order, Discipline, and Military Sexual Assault

  • Olivia N. Johnson Illinois State Representative of the National P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team; Backstoppers


Sexual assault has permeated military ranks for decades, and yet, remains largely unaddressed. Military rank and structure often make it difficult for victims to seek justice, especially when their abusers often outrank them. Military culture in part has allowed such criminal activity to continue, by providing a safe haven for perpetrators, and a punitive barrier for victims. In order to address the issue of military sexual assault, a multidimensional approach must be taken. The development of training and education programs, along with disciplinary and punitive policies for violators will help reduce sexual assaults in the military by making it clear that this behavior is criminal and will not be tolerated, regardless of rank.

Keywords: Military, military sexual assault, sex scandals, sexual assault, trauma

Author Biography

Olivia N. Johnson, Illinois State Representative of the National P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team; Backstoppers

Dr. Olivia Johnson holds a master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership Management from the University of Phoenix, School of Advanced Studies. Dr. Johnson is the founder of the Blue Wall Institute where she trains first responders, first responder families, and administrators on wellness issues, suicide awareness and prevention, peer support, stress and anger management, and leadership issues. Due to her perseverance in raising awareness of the issues facing our first responders, was named the Illinois State Representative and active Board Member for the National POLICE Suicide Foundation where she trains, conducts research, publishes articles, and communicates with agencies in need. 

          Dr. Johnson is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a former police officer, and published author. She is an Associate Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Associate Member of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP), member of the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers (ILEETA), the National POLICE Suicide Foundation (PSF), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance member and Suicidology Researcher (3-year term), American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Volunteer Member, Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA), a public safety expert writer for SilverHart, Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team member, Serve & Protect Advisory Board member, St. Clair County (IL) Suicide Alliance, Suicide Prevention/Juvenile Justice Curriculum (SPJJC) Ad Hoc Committee member, and member of the International Public Safety Association (IPSA), Forensic Behavioral Health Advisory Board Committee member. 

          Dr. Johnson is considered a subject matter expert (SME) in police officer health and wellness, police officer suicide, and suicide prevention and awareness in first responders. Dr. Johnson speaks on officer wellness and resilience for the Bureau of Justice VALOR Program and is on the Advisory Board for VALOR regarding curriculum review for de-escalation training and techniques. Dr. Johnson is an Adjunct Professor for Lindenwood University in Belleville, Illinois, and recently accepted a part-time position with the Institute for Intergovernmental Research as a Senior Research Associate. She also writes for several law enforcement and mental health publications and is the Peer Support columnist for Police One.