Seminar to Examine Military Rape and Public Policy

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UCR School of Public Policy event features leaders in national policy discussion, excerpt from “The Invisible War”

By Bettye Miller on February 26, 2014

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Photos of Sutton and Leitch

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Loree Sutton, M.D., and Laurie Leitch, Ph.D. will discuss military rape as a public policy issue in a March 6 seminar.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Two leaders in the national movement pressing for reforms concerning military rape and sexual assault will discuss policy changes they believe are essential in a March 6 seminar presented by the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside.

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Loree Sutton, M.D., and Laurie Leitch, Ph.D. will discuss “Military Rape and Public Policy in Real Time?” from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Humanities 1500. The seminar is free and open to the public. Parking permits may be purchased at the kiosk on West Campus Drive at University Avenue.

A 30-minute excerpt from “The Invisible War,” a documentary about sexual assault in the U.S. military that was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013, will begin the session. Sutton and Leitch will make remarks after the film and lead a discussion on the emerging role of “policy entrepreneurship” as illustrated by “The Invisible War” and its role in pioneering a public policy campaign for human rights and social justice.

Sutton and Leitch are co-founders and co-direc­tors of Threshold GlobalWorks (TGW), a New York-based organization created in 2011 to promote knowledge and skills informed by neuroscience to amplify social resilience and human potential. TGW has developed the Social Resilience Model (SRM) for organizations that want to optimize workplace and community resilience and performance.

Sutton is a psychiatrist who was the founding director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury from 2007 to 2010. She retired from military service in November 2010. She previously served as commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, with more than 100,000 service and family members, and served as the command surgeon for the Multinational Force in Iraq. She also served in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Egypt in support of the first Gulf War and the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission. She has been awarded the Bronze Star, Presidential Service Badge (White House Fellow), and Legion of Merit.

Leitch has been a clinical trainer, researcher and organizational consultant for more than 25 years. She is the co-founder of Trauma Resource Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Claremont, Calif. Her primary focus is the development of social impact initiatives that build organizational and community resilience and provide skills training in neuroscience-based programs.

Her experience includes providing treatment after 9/11; treatment and training in southern Thailand after the tsunami, in Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and providing self-regulation training to counselors working with genocide survivors in Rwanda, in China following the May 2008 earthquake, and in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Kenya after the post-election tribal violence. She co-designed and implemented a two-year project in Haiti to expand community capacity to deliver self-regulation skills in IDP camps and grass-roots organizations. The self-regulation model was named a promising practice in a White Paper prepared for Congress by the Department of Defense. SRM skills have also been presented to United Nations Global Stress Counselors from 40 countries.

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