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For Love of Country

A compelling look at sexual assault in the US Military with policy updates and further guidance for victims, advocates, and military leaders in the second edition of this highly regarded book and frequently cited reference on the topic. For Love of Country was a call to action in 2002 to draw attention to this growing problem in the military. In 2005, the Department of Defense (DoD) developed its' first Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Program. Over a decade and thousands more victims later, the message in the original publication still holds true today. Despite some significant progress, grave and concerning problems persist in the military when it comes to sexual assault. In their own words, victims and others speak volumes about this ongoing problem: "I loved the military. It was my life." - DISABLED ARMY VETERAN RAPED BY HER FIRST SERGEANT "I didn't think anyone would believe me. So I didn't report it." -SERVICE MEMBER RAPED BY A SUPERIOR OFFICER "I was prepared to be a POW (prisoner of war) or worse for my country. I wasn't prepared to have my superiors and comrades sexually abuse me... I was only nineteen. I just wanted to carry on the tradition of our family being in the military." - NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD RAPED ON ACTIVE DUTY "To take one incident, one trauma, and record it as part of your life. And who could you tell? I went up the line (even the MPs discouraged pressing charges). We were the ones made to feel guilty. We never talked about what was going on. It was an unspoken truth most of us tried to deny. Now the story is being told and we've already paid. How can you make this wrong right?" - FEMALE VETERAN AND VICTIM OF RAPE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT "One day they are going to find that this was just the tip of the iceberg. When rape victims start talking about what is truly happening in the military, that's when the depth of the problem will really emerge." -VA SEXUAL TRAUMA COUNSELOR SPEAKING OUT IN THE WAKE OF RAMPANT SEXUAL ABUSE AT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MARYLAND (1997) "You've got to remember, if you acknowledge a problem, you've got to do something about it." - LAWRENCE KORB ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR MANPOWER, PRESIDENT REAGAN AUTHOR TERRI SPAHR NELSON is a twice-decorated US Army veteran, psychotherapist, educator and Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Defense on the development of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. She offers an incisive look at this problem from many perspectives including persuasive accounts from victims of military sexual trauma, and straightforward responses from military leaders, legislators and experts in the field. In doing so, Spahr Nelson has integrated a compelling chorus of hundreds of accounts into a single voice calling for reform. For Love of Country provides compelling evidence and sound guidance to address this problem once and for all. Editorial Reviews of For Love of Country: Confronting Rape and Sexual Harassment in the US Military "A COMPELLING DOCUMENTARY.... Dramatically juxtaposes facts with personal accounts in a way that vividly brings out the heartbreaking reality of this ongoing problem." -The Portland Alliance "Terri Spahr Nelson has done the seemingly impossible-written a primer to the issue of military sexual abuse." -Chris Lombardi, Women's E-News "Nelson's book makes strong recommendations for a serious national response to rape and sexual harassment within the U.S. Military... But in the end, she argues, the crisis must be addressed because justice demands it. "It is time to confront rape and sexual harassment in the military if for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do." -Greg Flannery, CityBeat "The book should also be used by government and military agencies in formulating policy on rape and sexual harassment in the military." -H-Net, Humanities and Social Sciences Online
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About the Author

TERRI SPAHR NELSON is a national consultant, educator, author and psychotherapist with expertise in sexual assault and sexual trauma in the US military. She received her Master's degree in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin and her military training in Behavioral Sciences at the Academy of Health Sciences while on active duty in the US Army. She was twice awarded the Army Commendation medal during her four years in the military. Spahr Nelson served as a Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Defense on the development of their sexual assault program from 2004-2005 and consulted with the US Marine Corps to develop and write their initial SAPRO training curriculum. She was one of the first Sexual Trauma Counselors with the Department of Veteran Affairs, opening the Cincinnati Vet Center Sexual Trauma Counseling Program. In addition to For Love of Country, originally published in 2002, Spahr Nelson has several other published works including a series of booklets on trauma and recovery for active duty Service members, veterans, professionals and for victims of crime. She is the author of a chapter on vicarious trauma in the 2015 book Treating Military Sexual Trauma (Springer Publisher) and an essay about rape in the US Military in the 2006 book, Abuse Your Illusions. She has appeared as a subject matter expert on sexual assault in the US Military in national and international media including CNN, NPR, 60 Minutes, BBC, Al Jazeera, Asia Times, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others. The author's recent work and honors include: a national webinar on military sexual trauma selected by Joining Forces (a project of the White House) and the National Association of Social Workers for professional audiences; consultant of the month by the National Center for Victims of Crime; Alumna of the Year from the University of Texas School of Social Work in 2015. In addition, her company was awarded the national "Impacting Veterans" award by Citi and the Institute for Military Veterans and Families in 2014. Ms. Spahr Nelson is also the author of another forthcoming book 51%: Women and the Future of Politics. She is currently Director of the Undergraduate Social Work Program and on faculty at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She can be reached at

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