Female Soldiers More Likely to Be Raped Than Killed In Action

Posted by Bushel Basket in , ,

Currently, there is a House of Representatives Subcommittee investigating the incidence of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape of female personnel in the US military. Sadly, I first became aware of this reading the Doonesbury comic strip rather than from any of the usual media sources. I'll skip the usual histrionics that "I'm appalled that the media would overlook...." I know, it's an election cycle and all eyes are on the Presidential candidates. Though, it would be nice for some to take a cue from the election scare tactics and brow beating about supporting the military and avoiding sexist attacks on current or former candidates, and focus on something that supports both women and the military. Namely, making the military safer for women.

This isn't a partisan issue, because I don't believe either presidential candidate has mentioned anything about this. Important points to note:

  1. The Associated Press reported in July that of all the women who have visited a VA facility after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, 15 percent of them screened positive for military sexual trauma.
  2. Dr. Kaye Whitley, the director of the defense department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office was subpoenaed to appear before the committee on July 31, but was ordered by her superiors to not show up. A cover up of the issue by the military is alleged, but she is scheduled to testify this week.
  3. According to a Government Accountability Office survey, 103 servicemembers reported being sexually assaulted within the previous year, and 52 did not report the assault.
Here's a news article from ABC news on the topic, and a recently published GAO report on the topic. It's definitely not thrilling reading, but it is important. Remember, not every soldier that comes home will have visible wounds. There may be efforts to avoid "friendly fire" when we are at war, but the military has a long way to go to protect it's female soldiers from some not so friendly comrades in arms.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at Wednesday, September 10, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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