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Rape in the ranks: Female US soldiers raped by comrades fight war on two fronts

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democracy1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 01:11 AM
Original message
Rape in the ranks: Female US soldiers raped by comrades fight war on two fronts
Edited on Tue Dec-29-09 01:39 AM by democracy1st
Run time: 03:38
Posted on YouTube: December 19, 2009
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Posted on DU: December 29, 2009
By DU Member: democracy1st
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Some American female troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have had to fight another, more private battle. Besides the physical and psychological hardships of war, they've also had to face the trauma of sexual abuse from male comrades. And very few victims report the crime, as RTs Marina Portnaya reveals.

In War Zone, Women Are Still Targets of Sexual Predators

This really isn't new, although the Pentagon would like to pretend it is. There has always been sexual harassment and rape of male recruits, who are usually targeted during basic training for being "weak" or effeminate. (I have a friend who's a VA counselor, which is how I know about it. Like me, you probably didn't know that VA hospitals offer support services for male rape survivors.)

I bring it up to show this isn't a problem caused by allowing women to serve in combat zones. More to the point, the military culture seems to condone violent sexual impulses by refusing to actively pursue the perpetuators:

A Pentagon-appointed task force, in a report released this month, pointedly criticized the militarys efforts to prevent sexual abuse, citing the unique stresses of deployments in places like Camp Taji. Some military personnel indicated that predators may believe they will not be held accountable for their misconduct during deployment because commanders focus on the mission overshadows other concerns, the report said.

That, among other reasons, is why sexual assault and harassment go unreported far more often than not. Youre in the middle of a war zone, Captain White said, reflecting a fear many military women describe of being seen, somehow, as harming the mission.

So its kind of like that one little thing is nothing compared with There is an I.E.D. that went off in this convoy today and three people were injured, she said, referring to an improvised explosive device.

By the Pentagons own estimate, as few as 10 percent of sexual assaults are reported, far lower than the percentage reported in the civilian world. Specialist Erica A. Beck, a mechanic and gunner who served in Diyala Province in Iraq this summer, recalled a sexual proposition she called inappropriate during her first tour in the country in 2006-7. Not necessarily being vulgar, but he, you know, was asking for favors, she said.

She did not report it, she said, because she feared that her commanders would have reacted harshly toward her.

It was harassment, she said. And because it was a warrant officer, I didnt say anything. I was just a private.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've interviewed many women vets and almost all of them were raped.
It's so much more prevalent then people realize and the brutes who do this without fear need to be rooted out and court martialed. It's time to start setting some examples so people learn how to behave.

Some of the women were threatened and told if they wouldn't give in to an officer's demand for sex, they would be sent to front-line more dangerous positions.

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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I've always thought so...
I'm not at all glad I was right, of course. Makes me wonder why women even would want to join the military.
The saddest part is that very few cases get brought to light and get media-time, and even fewer rapists get prosecuted.
But then again, the government is not taking proper care of *any* of its war veterans, so why should we be surprised that women are treated no different?
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. I feel like I should write something more profound, but
this just makes me very angry.

I just sent this to

Dear President Obama;

I just read an article discussing sexual assault on female military personnel. As you know, rape is not about sex, it is about violence and aggression. No member of the service should be subject to violence and aggression from their fellow soldiers. If assaulted, no soldier should be afraid to report the crime to their superiors.

As Commander-In-Chief, a bold and clear statement by you to all military personnel, including a commitment to hold military leadership accountable for crimes committed in their commands, would have some beneficial effect on this problem.

Please give this a high priority. Our children serving in the military deserve no less.


(The "children" part is because I have children serving or preparing to serve in the military (against my advice))
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-29-09 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks for posting this. This should be discussed far more widely...
But 'somehow' I doubt mainstream media will report on it...
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