Future of Feminism: Ending Rape As A Tool of War

 

Aviva Dove-Viebahn
Ms. Blog
March 2, 2012

Sexual assault and rape during wartime cannot–and should not–be brushed off as mere collateral damage. Rather, rape has long been a systematic tool of strategic violence against women. The public and policy makers should know this in order to help prevent future violence–and that’s the mission of the newly launched Women Under Siege , a Women’s Media Center project.

To continue reading at the Ms. Blog, click here.

 

Check out Women Under Siege from the links below.

From their web site:

Women Under Siege documents how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Spearheaded by Gloria Steinem, this initiative builds on the lessons revealed in the anthology Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust by Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel, and also in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Daniella McGuire.

In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us to prevent or helped us to prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions.

The project has two main components:

1)  A public education plan to demonstrate that rape is a tool of war (not only a crime of war, but also a strategic tool). This plan includes testimony from and partnership with survivors of modern wars from Bosnia to Darfur.

2)  An action plan to push for the creation of legal, diplomatic, and public interventions to ensure the United Nations, international tribunals, and other agencies with power will understand the gender-based threats as a tool of genocide and will design protocols to intervene and halt gender-based genocide.

To view the Women Under Siege web site, 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.

Soldier As Rapist: All Too Common

 

Natalie Wilson
Ms. Magazine Blog
March 19, 2010

Fort Bragg soldier Spc. Aaron Pernell, 22, an indirect fire infantryman who has served two tours in Iraq, was charged with sexual assault in February. Pernell appeared in court Tuesday on 13 charges including rape and attempted rape. What’s unique about these charges are that they were made at all: thousands of other military rapists have escaped punishment in the past fifteen years, according to the Denver Post in its excellent investigative series.

To read Natalie Wilson’s posting at the Ms. Magazine Blog, click here.