Rape in the armed forces and Peace Corps

8 Mar

Let me say up front before the complaints start piling in – I support our troops. What I don’t support is the proven number of sexual assault crimes that have been perpetrated against women in the military. Guess what, boys? Women have every right to be in the military if that is their choice, whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it? Too freaking bad.

Many news stories have released stories about sexual assault in the military in recent months – all of which is disturbing and overwhelmingly disappointing, but not surprising.

First, many service members are suing the Pentagon for turning a blind eye to the sexual assault crimes that happen on a regular basis: Lawsuit claims Pentagon turned blind eye to military rape victims

One woman reports that she was told, “Marines don’t cry” after sharing her story. You know what else Marines don’t do? DISRESPECT THEIR COMRADES.

Another article on the story: Vets seek changes in military’s handling of rape, sexual assault cases

The Star Tribune released an article last December about the rising rates of sexual assault within the military: Women vets’ secret war: Sexual trauma

This is the only thing I’m going to even say about this article:

66,342 female veterans report assaults from 2002 to 2008 — by their band of brothers.

Even more disturbing – and surely an oxymoron – is the shockingly high number of occurrences of sexual assault in the Peace Corps: Peace Corps gang rape: Volunteer says U.S. agency ignored warnings (Jan. 12, 2011)

The post speaks for itself:

More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries.

In some cases, victims say, the Peace Corps has ignored safety concerns and later tried to blame the women who were raped for bringing on the attacks.

“Every day we felt unsafe. And we reported everything, we just kept reporting,” she said in an interview with five other former volunteers who also were rape or sexual assault victims.

“When the decision was made that I was to go to Washington, D.C., I was told to tell volunteers that I was having my wisdom teeth out,” Smochek says.

Between 2000 and 2009, Peace Corps figures show there were 221 rapes or attempted rapes, 147 major sexual attacks and 719 other sexual assaults—defined as unwanted or forced kissing, fondling or groping.

Imagine your daughter  going into the Peace Corps – you’d be proud, right? Now imagine that your daughter is coming out with after this has happened.

How are we supposed to trust that these people are going to protect our country? How are these women supposed to trust that these people will be on their side?

Most importantly – what is happening to change this??

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One Response to “Rape in the armed forces and Peace Corps”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lovers/Haters: Love, love, love « See Jane run…the show - April 1, 2011

    […] Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a bill called the Support for Survivors Act to assist victims of sexual assault in the military. The bill would require the military to keep all evidence of sexual assaults committed on servicemembers instead of destroying them and sweeping the issue under the rug. It may not be much, but it’s certainly a start to acknowledging this consistent issue (which I wrote about here). […]

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