April 2011


Marcia Lippman / Gallery Stock

The Military’s Secret Shame

Jesse Ellison
Newsweek
April 3, 2011

Greg Jeloudov was 35 and new to America when he decided to join the Army. Like most soldiers, he was driven by both patriotism for his adopted homeland and the pragmatic notion that the military could be a first step in a career that would enable him to provide for his new family. Instead, Jeloudov arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., for basic training in May 2009, in the middle of the economic crisis and rising xenophobia. The soldiers in his unit, responding to his Russian accent and New York City address, called him a “champagne socialist” and a “commie faggot.”

He was, he told NEWSWEEK, “in the middle of the viper’s pit.” Less than two weeks after arriving on base, he was gang-raped in the barracks by men who said they were showing him who was in charge of the United States. When he reported the attack to unit commanders, he says they told him, “It must have been your fault. You must have provoked them.”

To read the full article at Newsweek, click here.

 

Contact Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) for information on the Military Rape Litigation filled on behalf of military and former military victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), including persons who were raped by their military colleagues.

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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.

Click! Rape Should Not Be a Requirement to Serve

 

Panayiota Bertzikis
Ms. Blog
April 1, 2011

I grew up oblivious to gender inequality. As a child of the ’80s/’90s I never felt gender prevented me from doing what I wanted to do. I grew up playing sports, doing things that may have been traditionally “for boys,” and being told that any career option was open to me. I eventually chose to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.

To read the full story at the Ms. Blog, click here.

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