An article came out today in the Los Angeles Times about how women in the military are being raped by their fellow soldiers/commanding officers/physicians/etc. Here are a few highlights…or rather, lowlights.
Sexual assaults are frequent, and frequently ignored, in the armed services.
Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through “nonjudicial punishment,” which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of “insufficient evidence.”
THIS IS COMPLETELY INJUST AND UNACCEPTABLE.
Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against the Army as an organization. They have many great programs in place and the soldiers work hard. But they MUST address this issue. Denial and ignorance will never solve this, and they’re only proving that they don’t care about rape and the offenses against women if they continue to let cases slide by unnoticed.
Sexual harassment doesn’t just happen in military work, by any means. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
In Fiscal Year 2007, EEOC received 12,510 charges of sexual harassment.
And an employer/employee Web site reports:
Currently at least 40% of all women report being sexually harassed at some point in their career
And those are just the people who are brave enough/able to report the issue.
OVER 70% OF RAPE CASES GO UNREPORTED.
These are the kind of things that make me too sad to speak…however, we have to speak up in order to stop atrocities like this from happening.
So how are we going to stop rape? Let’s hear it!
Comments are very, very welcome.