In Their Own Words

Sep 24, 2010

“‘Dwell time’ is military shorthand for the precious home-front visits back to family life that soldiers enjoy between the multiple deployments of modern warfare. The need for enough dwell time – and for a fairer, less stressful distribution of repeat deployments – is a keystone finding in a study of the alarming rise in suicides afflicting the military as it soldiers on in Iraq and Afghanistan… The services have hardly ignored the problem. But soldiers testified “they almost died from boredom listening to yet another suicide prevention briefing.” The challenge is to make prevention more credible and urgent – for officers and even more for soldiers wrestling with depression in a monolithic organization. Suicides are doubly tragic casualties of war. They are increasing at a record rate – higher than civilian suicide. The task force has laid out a mandate for Congress and the Pentagon to target suicide as a most vital wartime mission.”

-- “When Warriors Hurt Themselves,” New York Times editorial, September 1, 2010


“State lawmakers around the U.S. are struggling to decide if teenage ‘sexting’ – the practice of sending nude or sexually suggestive photos by cellphone – is a serious crime, or juvenile folly run amok. About 20 states have enacted or proposed measures that deal with teenage sexters. Generally, the legislation is aimed at treating minors in a more lenient fashion than if they were prosecuted under existing child-pornography or child-exploitation laws, which include the possibility of prison time and sex-offender status… While many of the new rules make sexting punishable by small fines and short stints in a juvenile-detention facility, there is still little agreement on what the appropriate penalty is – or whether prosecutors should be involved at all… Few teenage sexters have been prosecuted for child pornography, but many legislators say they want to give law enforcement flexibility in deciding how to charge suspects… States will have to continue to tweak their criminal laws to cope with changing technologies, lawyers and legislators say.”

--Nathan Koppel and Ashby Jones, “Are ‘Sext’ Messages a Teenage Felony or Folly,” Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2010


“During this trip I saw first-hand how this humanitarian disaster is impacting young women and girls. The lack of shelter and security makes them more vulnerable to violence, in particular sexual violence… Yet, I have also seen the determination and resilience of women and men in Haiti to rebuild their country. Today I visited a temporary shelter for women and girls who experienced sexual violence or who are at risk, where women leaders work to make sure there are medical and legal services as well as counseling and livelihood training. This needs to be done on a large scale and they need our support.”

--UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman said in a statement after visiting with survivors of violence living in a temporary camp in Haiti, July 30, 2010