The Military’s Rape and Sexual Assault Epidemic

 

Antoinette Bonsignore, RH Reality Check
truthout.org
April 3, 2011

On February 15, 2011, fifteen female and two male military veterans filed a class action lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and current Defense Secretary Robert Gates. A second round of plaintiffs will likely be announced in early April. These veterans have charged the defendants with the wholesale and systematic failure to protect servicemembers from being oftentimes repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted while serving in the military; and with a failure to investigate and subsequently prosecute and punish perpetrators.

The complaint reads like a horror story. One gruesome account after another detailing brutal assaults; sometimes repeated and sometimes committed by multiple perpetrators. Rapes and sexual assaults that are ignored and if not ignored so callously prosecuted within the Military Code of Justice as to suggest that rape is nothing more than a minor infraction deserving of little punishment, if any. A system set up to hide evidence, encourage victims to recant, and when the victim tries to receive some semblance of justice they are generally rewarded with demotions, harassment, and shockingly further rapes and sexual assaults as punishment. Victims are warned to stay quiet or face dire consequences. The brave victims are blamed – the women in particular were just asking for it.

To read the full article at truthout.org, click here.

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