A newly released documentary called “The Invisible War” claims that 500,000 rapes have occurred in the U.S. military since WW2. (link below)
According to SAPRO (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office) in 2010, 3,158 sexual assaults were reported within the US military. Only 529 of those reached trial and of those only 104 resulted in convictions. The report goes on to estimate that 19,000 cases weren’t even reported.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated that one in three women in the military will suffer through some level of sexual assault. The military continues to deal with the problem in house even knowing that doing so puts pressure on victims not to report.
Lucy Broadbent of the Guardian UK wrote in an article December of last year on this problem. She reported, not only will the rapist go unpunished,“Worse still, the victim is likely to be blackballed by her own unit, and sometimes even demoted, according to Weber. “I first tried reporting the rape to my staff sergeant, he told me to be quiet and not tell anyone. So then I tried to tell a woman sergeant, who was beneath him, because I thought she’d be more sympathetic. She just cursed me for jumping the chain of command and not coming to her first. I went to the doctor, who did at least make a record of it, but he did nothing. I also told my ‘battle buddy’, a fellow female soldier. She said, ‘I know that guy. He’s married and he would never do such a thing. You’re a liar and a slut.’ Before long, I was being called a whore and a bitch by everyone. The guys were warning each other: ‘This one will accuse you of rape, so stay away from her.’ I was 18 years old, it was the first time I had ever been away from home. I had no idea what to do.”
The article concluded: “A female soldier in Iraq was more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”
No one who works with sexual assault will be surprised by this epidemic. Systems of domination breed abuse. Perhaps this is what the prophets meant when they warned that arrogant unchecked power poisons a nation. Perhaps a nation has this in common with the human body, that if our defenses grow too strong, we die of them and not from what threatens us from the outside.
“The Invisible War” clip: http://033e9e2.netsolhost.com/drupal/
Guardian Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military