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I was reading at article recently which said that 1/3 of female soldiers in the United States military report being raped. I thought, "How can that be? That can't be right," and so I did a little research and it not only is right, but 1/3 may be low. Here is a snippet from an article in the Los Angeles Times from March 31, 2008. Here is a snippet:
The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.
These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.
My wife and I had 9 children: 3 sons and 6 daughters. We have 12 grandchildren: 8 granddaughters and 4 grandsons. I would be opposed to their being in a situation where they were that likely to be raped. Using the 1/3 rape rate that would mean that 2 of my daughters and almost 3 of my granddaughters would be raped if they were in military service. It is a terrifying thought which leaves me with the conclusion that the greatest threat of terrorist attack to my loved ones would be in the United States military, not for Al Queda or whoever it is we are supposed to be afraid of.
NOW on PBS covers rape story.
Video lasts 3:45
CNN - Recruiter rape - Video lasts 6:20
The article you cited plays fast and loose with the facts. The Defense Manpower Data Center found that 6.8% of women and 1.8% of men have experienced "unwanted sexual contact" in their most recent survey.
The high percentages cited by Representative Jane Harman were from a single study of women entering treatment at a Women's Clinic that specialized in PTSD treatment. It would be expected that a large percentage of women would have been sexually assaulted in that sample because they were referred there for treatment of that condition.
Nevertheless, rape is a horrible thing and the military has a lot of new programs to help victims and prevent the crime. It is not a pretty picture, but there are a lot of people working hard to turn the situation around. Unfortunately, poorly informed politicians like Jane Harman and MIke Turner (Ohio) are trying to get re-elected on the shoulders of military rape victims. Watch their attention shift once the election year is over.
Posted by: Nate | October 15, 2008 at 12:40 AM
Its very shocking to read.
How can the americans rape their fellows??
Military must provide brothels to them!
Posted by: RayMeds | October 11, 2010 at 07:09 AM
The solders has to care of their fellows but the cases shows that they are not caring for their fellow girls, so how can they care other womens on the fields??
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