Follow up to post I did last week – Rape in the Military

Posted: September 23, 2004 in Gender Bias
Tags: ,

Last week, I posted regarding a woman who was raped by US servicemen while in the middle east (here).

In my own curiosity, and as one person commented, I wanted to find out how, if at all, this sort of thing was being covered in the media. Here are some of the links I found that I wanted to share with the rest of you. I haven’t decided yet what I can do to help, but I figure information is a good place to start:
MAY 18 | The US serviceman waited outside the latrine and hit the woman on the back of the head as she exited, knocking her unconscious. He tied her hands with cord, blindfolded her, cut her clothes off with a knife, stuffed her underwear in her mouth and then raped her. When she regained consciousness and began to resist, he threatened to rape her with the knife instead. He hit her in the head again, this time forcefully between the eyes, again causing her to lose consciousness. When she came to she was transported to another facility where she was interrogated for three hours. She received no medical treatment for her head injuries. She was left in isolation for an extended period, and her requests for religious counsel were denied.
There was an outpouring of frustration and anger by women survivors of military rape, and their supporters who attended The National Summit of Women Veterans Issues. They complained about the Department of Defense (DOD) refusal to act to stop rape, and the difficulty many survivors have in getting benefits and services from the Veterans Administration. Sexual assault of US servicewomen and men is widespread ˆ some estimates are as high as 43-50% among some sectors. Among active duty soldiers, 78% of women have experienced sexual harassment. At the same time, some of these women survivors of rape have been fighting for 20 years to get benefits and services owed to them, calling this deprivation a second and third rape. Many women veteran survivors have experienced homelessness, one of the workshop topics, as a result of their trauma and lack of benefits.
Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said they introduced legislation designed to help military women who are victims of rape. The legislation would lift the restriction prohibiting the Department of Defense from paying for abortions when victims become pregnant.
As a new officer in the Air Force who trusted the institution and the men she worked with, Dorothy Mackey didn’t think she would ever be sexually assaulted by her fellow servicemen. She was wrong.


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