August 2009


Women Soldiers Finally Get the Attention They Deserve?

 

By Helen Benedict
Huffington Post
August 19, 2009

Nearly six and a half years into the Iraq War, women soldiers are finally getting some attention in the mainstream press.

Last Sunday and Monday, August 16 and 17, the New York Times ran two front page articles on the subject: “G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier as War Evolves,” by Lizette Alvarez, and “Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In” by Steven Lee Myers.

In fact, women have been fighting in combat in Iraq since the very first days of the war in 2003, and doing so in unprecedented numbers. By 2006, more female troops had been wounded or killed in the Iraq War alone than in all American wars put together since World War II.

Back in November 2006, I began several years of interviewing some 40 women in the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy for my book, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. What these women told me was shocking. Not only were they breaking the Pentagon’s ban against women in ground combat by serving as gunners, engaging in firefights, raiding houses, working checkpoints and fighting alongside the infantry under the guise of “combat support,” they were being sexually persecuted and abused at terrifying rates — by their fellow soldiers.

To read Helen Benedict’s full piece at the Huffington Post, click here.

Links to the New York Times articles can be found in the News Articles section on our United States page.

Helen Benedict: Women Soldiers Finally Get the Attention They Deserve?

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If you (or someone you know) has been the survivor of a sexual assault by a member of the U.S. military, you may be interested in reading the booklet entitled “Responding to Sexual Assault in the Military: A Resource Guide and Policy Overview.”

It provides information about the definitions of sexual assault, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as the specific charges that can be filed for particular types of assault.  The booklet also outlines restricted and unrestricted reporting options; medical and legal options for survivors; what to expect during the reporting process in the civilian law-enforcement arena; what to expect of the criminal justice system; a list of resources for military and civilian survivors within the U.S. and on U.S. military bases overseas; and resources for civilians residing within the United States.

The booklet, as well as a book, For Love of Country: Confronting Rape and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military, are available from Sugati Publications at: http://www.sugati.org/Sugati_publications.html.

2 Killings Stoke Kashmiri Rage at Indian Force


New York Times
By Lydia Polgreen
Published: August 16, 2009

 
In Kashmir, the rapes and killings of two young women near the camps of Indian security forces have focused attention on their continuing presence.
 
To read the full story in the New York Times click here.

Jane’s Story: Crime Without Punishment in Japan

Economist.com
Dec 10th 2008

This story is of no material importance to Japan. It is the story of Jane. And it is a story of a very small, dark sliver of 20th century geopolitics that festers still.

Jane is an attractive, blonde 40-something Australian, resident for many years in Japan and a mother of three boys. She is also the victim of a rape. Jane is not her real name.

She is actually the victim of two violations. The physical one was committed on April 6th 2002 near the American naval base at Yokosuka by Bloke T. Deans, an American serviceman. He violently raped her in her car.

To read the full story at The Economist click here.

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Angry at a Peace Convention

By PB Rose
Veterans Today
Posted on August 10, 2009

Recently, I went to the Veterans For Peace convention in Maryland and attended some very interesting workshops. The workshop that has angered and resonated the most with me was the Military Sexual Trauma workshop. I am angry that this workshop has to be held. I am angry that 1 in 3 women are raped by their brother in arms. I am angry that many female soldiers have died and will die during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict of dehydration because they refuse to drink enough water so they will not have to go to the bathroom during the night and be ganged raped by American soldiers.

To read the full piece in Veterans Today, click here.

Reporting of Military Sex Crimes Seen Rising
Awareness Campaign, Revised Policies Credited

 
By Rick Rogers
San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer
August 10, 2009

 

In a dimly lighted courtroom at the San Diego Naval Base, a 21-year Navy veteran pleaded guilty last month to raping a girl starting when she was 14.

As part of a plea deal reached after the victim, now 17, agreed to testify, Lt. j.g. Terry Hampleton was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Hampleton’s conviction might be a sign that an awareness campaign and revised military policies are encouraging more victims to step forward, leading to additional investigations and prosecutions.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reviewed the military court docket covering most sailors and Marines in the western United States, including those stationed in San Diego County, and found the number of sexual-assault courts-martial between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, went up by about 14 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

To read the full story at the San Diego Union-Tribune, click here.

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A National Disgrace: Stop Sexual Assault in the Military

 

Original NOW Actions Alert from April 9, 2009

Countless military women and military spouses are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. It is estimated that rates of marital abuse in the military are two to five times higher than civilian rates of domestic violence. Moreover, one in three women in the military will be sexually assaulted during their tour of duty. Ending sexual violence against women in the military must start now!

Action Needed:

Act now to support the Military Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Act to address this national epidemic and stop the violence against military women and military families!

From the National Organization for Women, a NOW Actions Alert.
A National Disgrace: Stop Sexual Assault in the Military

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