Fixing a Broken System: Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military (September 2012)


The Hastings Women’s Law Journal symposium “Fixing a Broken System: Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military” was held September 28, 2012 at U.C. Hastings at the San Francisco Alumni Center was a resounding success.

For anyone who missed it, video of the symposium in its entirety is available through the U.C. Hastings Livestream website here: http://www.livestream.com/uchastings

Rape in the Military (Part 1/3)

Rape in the Military (Part 2/3)

Rape in the Military (part 3/3)

DADT – Zoe Dunning

List of Participating Speakers:

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA)
John D. Altenburg, Jr., Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Philip D. Cave, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Josh Connolly, Deputy Legislative Director, Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Zoe Dunning, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Kathleen Gilberd, Co-Chair, National Lawyer’s Guild Military Law Task Force
Maia Goodell, Chair, New York City Bar’s Military Affairs and Justice Committee
Victor M. Hansen, Professor of Law, New England Law Boston
Elizabeth L. Hillman, Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law
Shira Maguen, Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, UCSF
Rachel Natelson, Legal Director, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
Teresa Panepinto, Director of Legal Services, Swords to Plowshares
Kate Weber, Survivor of Military Sexual Trauma
Bridget J. Wilson, Esq., Major, California Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Enlisted (Ret.)

Seminar Sponsors:

Combat Paper

The National Institute of Military Justice

The O’Brien Center for Scholarly Publications

The UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy

Okinawa Residents Angry Over Attack on Woman by U.S. Serviceman


The Mainichi
August 21, 2012

Residents in this base-hosting prefecture have expressed outrage over an indecent assault on an Okinawa woman by an American serviceman, reiterating their calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces.

“The pain and fear felt by the victim are immeasurable, and the incident provoked strong fear among local communities,” said Suzuyo Takasato, a representative of the “Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence,” during a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government office on Aug. 20.

Corporal Iian Tarver, 21, of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Zukeran is under arrest for allegedly committing indecent acts on a woman in her 40s and injuring her after dragging her to the ground on a road in Naha at around 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 18.

To read the full story at The Mainichi web site, click here.


[IMAGE CREDIT: Suzuyo Takasato, second from right, a representative of the “Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence,” calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces during a press conference at the Okinawa Prefectural Government office on the afternoon of Aug. 20. (Mainichi)]

The Invisible War


Free Film Screening!!


Date: April 17th, 2012

Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: California State University San Marcos
Academic Hall 102


About the film:

THE INVISIBLE WAR is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands.

Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. THE INVISIBLE WAR features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change.”

A Panel discussion about Military Sexual Trauma will follow the film. Please join us for a free film and interesting discussion. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information or if you have any questions regarding the event please email us at csusmwssa@gmail.com

This event is co-sponsored by the following California State University San Marcos groups: The Veteran’s Center, ASI Women’s Center, Women’s Studies Department, and Women’s Studies Student Association.


The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military Democracy Now!   January 30, 2012

The Invisible War — film web site

March 28, 2012 is the last day to vote for Protect Our Defenders in the @DoGooder Video Awards. Winning will mean more resources to do the work that they do for our veterans.

Click here VOTE for Protect Our Defenders.

To visit the Protect Our Defenders web site, click here.

Graffiti on Jeju Island, via savejejuisland.org

Veterans Peace Team is too Dangerous for South Korea’s Jeju Island


Frida Berrigan
Waging Nonviolence
March 16, 2012


These guys are no joke. Tarak Kauff was a paratrooper in U.S. Army. Elliott Adams was in the infantry as a paratrooper in Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Alaska. Mike Hastie was an Army medic in Vietnam. Now they are all members of Veterans for Peace, and they just got kicked out of Jeju Island in South Korea.

The issue is no joke either. The United States and South Korea have teamed up to build a huge naval base on the beautiful, pristine island of Jeju — a bio-region so unique that UNESCO has identified nine different geological sites there as “Global Geoparks.” In the midst of this natural wonderland, the two military powerhouses want a deep-water harbor for the nuclear-armed Aegis destroyer and other ships that can menace China and protect Washington and Seoul’s strategic interests in the region.

As Tarak Kauff, one of the Vets, wrote in a reflection en route to Jeju last week:

The base will be part of the ever expanding U.S. military/economic global hegemonic plans to have a potent strike force directly off the coast of China. The U.S. has been an occupying force in South Korea since WWII, consequently imposing it’s political/economic/cultural and military will on the Korean people, this being just one more example of that. To get an idea of how violent and aggressive this is, imagine China or Russia building a naval base complete with missile carrying destroyers, say in Bermuda or Puerto Rico.


To read more about the struggle on Jeju Island, click here.

Filipino Women March Against US Military Expansion in the Philippines and the Pacific


Unity Statement
Alliance of Progressive Labor
March 8, 2012

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2012, we, Filipino women declare in strongest terms possible, our opposition not only to increased presence but to U.S. military presence per se on Philippine soil.

The United States is increasing its military presence in Asia-Pacific, in particular in the Philippines, and the Philippine government is showing no qualms in allowing this to happen.

A news account recently reported of the United States’ plan to increase its military aid to “boost” Philippine defense; the promised aid will amount to US$144 million, reflecting an increase of more than US$20 million on the previous amount. In another earlier news article, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas was quoted as saying his government had spent US$50 million for the upgrading of Philippine military facilities.

To continue reading the Unity Statement, click here.

For additional reporting on the issue:

US Military Expansion, and Attitudes Towards Fiji  95bFM  March 12, 2012

UPDATE:  Truth and Justice:
2012 Summit on Military Sexual Violence


Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) is sponsoring a one day Truth and Justice conference May 8th  in Washington, DC to give MST survivors the opportunity to share their stories with congress members, policy experts and the general public, coupled with key panels on major topics involving military sexual violence and survivors’ access to justice.

In 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) documented 3,158 reports of military sexual assault, but concluded that only 13.5% of total cases were actually reported. DOD estimates that in 2010 alone, over 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military. Survivors who do report experiences of rape or sexual assault rarely receive justice because discretion is allocated to military commanders, thus bringing less than 21% of alleged perpetrators to court-martial; even fewer are convicted or sentenced to prison. For more information, please see the SWAN factsheet on Rape, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the Military.


Summit Schedule:

Locations and Speakers TBA

7-8:15a – Welcome, Registration

8:15a – Opening Remarks

8:30 – 9:45a – Panel 1

Challenges and Strategies for Change

10a – 11:30a – Panel 2

Survivors and Family Members Tell Their Stories

11:30a-1p – Lunch, Keynote, Awards Ceremony

1-1:45p – Advocacy Training

2p-5p – Congressional Visits

5p – Reconvene, Closing Remarks


For more information about SWAN’s Truth and Justice Summit, click here

To contact the SWAN Legal and Peer Support Helpline, click here.

Event Information from AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego


AF3IRM San Diego To Take the Streets on May Day to Demand Genuine Immigration Reform and the Dismantling of Imperialism


On International Workers’ Day, Saturday, May 1st, AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will take to the streets with a coalition of several San Diego grassroots organizations including Union Del Barrio and Si se Puede coalition calling for legalization for all – without conditions, jobs and livable wages for all, fund education & social services – not war, immigration rights for LGBT partners.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will join thousands in the call for comprehensive immigration reform and stands in solidarity with workers across the globe in the struggle to dismantle US-led imperialism, whose exploitative policies and practices have forced over one billion people worldwide out of their home countries to find work abroad.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego will march against the recently-passed Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona, which has further empowered police officers tobe able to stop and interrogate every individual regarding citizenship, legalizing racial profiling.

Also, with San Diego being a hub of the US military and navy forces, the women will march against the imperialist US policies which force poor women into the sex trade. In San Diego alone, the sex trade of poor women of color flourishes around the military bases, where servicemen can easily purchase the exploited women. In the last half century, the Navy and Marine Corps’ presence following World War II helped support prostitution markets in the Gaslamp and Loma Portal along Midway Drive. In the past year, police have recorded the vast majority of 588 arrests around the area of 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego calls our supporters and allies to take part in this call for action THIS Saturday May 1st 2010 11:00am at Chicano Park. Please locate the purple AF3IRM/GABNet San Diego flags.

For more information contact:

Ley Ebrada, AF3IRM San Diego Chapter Coordinator

Join Close The Base for a Rally Against the U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa this Sunday, April 25th!


Okinawans are planning to hold a rally of 100,000 people against the U.S. bases in Okinawa on April 25th. The people of Washington, D.C. will show our solidarity with the Okinawans with our own Earth Day rally, in front of the Japanese embassy on Sunday, April 25 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Other solidarity rallies are also being held in San Francisco, Hawaii, and in elsewhere in Japan (including Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Oita, Nagano, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagano, and Ueda).

For more information,visit the Close The Base web site at this link.

Honoring Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma


Photo: packparachute.org

On November 11, 2009 in Seattle, WA, veteran organizations will honor veterans with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) at 2 pm at the Garden of Remembrance at Benaroya Hall on University St. and Second Ave. in downtown Seattle. This ceremony celebrating individuals with MST will be the first of its kind in the country.

Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans For Peace, VetWow and Pack Parachute Charity will participate in this ceremony, and hope to demonstrate the honor, respect and community they feel for veterans with MST.

To learn more about this event, visit the Pack Parachute web site, here.

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