The Green Light to Rape:

What Happens When We Fail to
Prosecute the Rapist

 

 

Jennifer McClendon
OpEdNews.com
June 1, 2012

 

 

The difference between what happens to a rapist and a rape victim has shocked the senses of the American public since US Congressional Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) began in 2011 sharing the personal accounts of military rape victims to other members of the House of Representatives in a weekly address to the House.

I do not like the term “Military Sexual Trauma.” Rape is a horrible and gut-wrenching event that destabilizes the family and the community and shocks the victim. Military Sexual Trauma is a watered-down term for a horrendous human rights violation that is too often dismissed by military legal authorities.

Rape shocks the victim. A victim in shock is given several psychiatric labels that may threaten the victim’s perceived job readiness. Military and Department of Veteran’s Affairs doctors will bend over backwards to label what was once called Rape Trauma Syndrome and is now considered a form of or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder. This is a form of psychiatrically sanctioned victim-blaming and a way of denying benefits to veterans that were traumatized by rape.

 

To read Jennifer McClendon’s full article at the OpEdNews.com web site, click here.

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DOD says Zero Tolerance for Sexual Assault, but Keeps Limbaugh on Radio

 

Ann Wright
OpEdNews.com
March 11, 2012

On March 6, eight women in the military filed a lawsuit against Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta, Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld (and others) for their failure to provide a safe environment for women to serve in the US military without fear of being sexually assaulted or raped.

In their press conference announcing the lawsuit, two US Marine officers told of the lack of concern about the criminal conduct of fellow Marines by the leadership of the premier Marine base, the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC. The Marine Barracks provides the Marines who guard the President and the First Family at the White House and Camp David.

This is the second lawsuit filed in just over a year against the Department of Defense concerning sexual assault and rape in the military. The first lawsuit, filed February 15, 2011 and amended in September, 2011, was on behalf of 18 women and three men who had been raped by military personnel. That lawsuit was dismissed in federal court on December 9, 2011, for “failure to state a claim” as military personnel cannot sue the Department of Defense officials for “creating and fostering an atmosphere and environment” that led to the injuries suffered while serving, nor for “failure to punish those individuals guilty of committing these offenses.”

One in three women in the military is raped while in the military. Of the military personnel who reported being raped in 2010, 10% were men.

To read the full article at OpEdNews.com, click here.

Sexual Violence and the Military

 

New York Times
Editorial
March 9, 2012

 

The rate of sexual assaults on American women serving in the military remains intolerably high. While an estimated 17 percent of women in the general population become victims at some point in their lives, a 2006 study of female veterans financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that between 23 percent and 33 percent of uniformed women had been assaulted. Those estimates are borne out in other surveys, and a recent Pentagon report on sexual assaults at the service academies found that in the 2010-11 academic year, cadets and midshipmen were involved in 65 reported assaults.

To continue reading, at the New York Times click here.

The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act
The STOP Act

 

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco, San Mateo) introduced legislation on November 16, 2011 to dramatically reform how sexual assaults and rape in the military are treated (download bill summary.) Speier stated, “For too long the military’s response to rape victims has been: ‘take an aspirin and go to bed.’ We owe our brave women and men in the military a justice system that protects them, not punishes them when they become victims of sexual assaults and rape committed by other service members.”

“To end this needless injustice, I am proposing a legislative remedy and fully endorsing the website, Protect Our Defenders, which will provide the grass roots mechanics required to make our military leaders and Congress understand that what has been going on before their very eyes for decades is unconscionable and must be stopped. We owe our brave women and men in the military a justice process that protects them, not punishes them when they become victims of sexual assaults and rape.”

 

 

 

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

And consider signing their petition demanding that Congress create a NEW method for reporting sexual assault in the military.

 

Congresswoman Speier has made over a dozen speeches to Congress on the topic of rape and sexual assault in the military, to view them on her web site, click here. Or view the videos on usmvaw.com, here.

Helen Benedict has written a piece on the STOP Act and why it matters at the Ms. Blog. To read it, click here.

 

For a look at the media reports on The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act — the  STOP Act, click the links below:

Sexual Assault in the Military: New Legislation Seeks to Alter Reporting Process,  ABC News,  November 17, 2011

Lawmaker Wants Military Rape Cases Shifted to New Office, Miami Herald, November 18, 2011

A Crisis in Our Military, Rep. Jackie Speier, Huffington Post,  November 17. 2011

Legislation Aims to Remove Rape Accusations from Military ‘Chain of Command,’   The Daily Caller,   November 18, 2011

Rep. Speier Wants New Office to Investigate Military Sexual Assaults, The Hill, November 17, 2011

Democrat Jackie Speier Introduces Military Rape Bill,  89.3 KPPC,   November 17, 2011

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.

Workshop on “Military Women: One in Three are Raped”

 

Colonel Ann Wright, (ret.)
Veterans for Peace
Pentagon of Peace – The Five for Truth – New Mexico Tour
October 10, 2009

A workshop on Military Women and Rape was presented by Col. Ann Wright (ret.) on October 10, 2009 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This workshop was co-sponsored by Veterans for Peace, The Five for Peace Tour and the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center.

Special thanks to Gregory W. Dugay for making this video available on Vimeo.com.

Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within

 

Democracy Now!
October 27, 2009

Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within is a documentary that focuses on the cases of three female service members victimized by rape and other forms of sexual assault. Democracy Now! aired excerpts of the film and spoke to filmmaker Pascale Bourgaux.

To view and read the Democracy Now! interview with filmmaker Pascale Bourgaux and learn about the film, Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within, click here.