Sharp Rise in Sexual Assaults of US Female Soldiers by Male Soldiers - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:38 PM   #1
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 10:35 PM
Sharp Rise in Sexual Assaults of US Female Soldiers by Male Soldiers

Quote:
Report: Sexual assault of women soldiers on rise in US military

By Tom Regan
Christian Science Monitor, March 19, 2007


In the online magazine Salon, Helen Benedict reports that every female veteran she interviewed for a book she is writing on women in the US military said that "the danger of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers without another woman for protection." Ms. Benedict also reports that some women soldiers started carrying knives to protect themselves, not from Iraqis, but from their male peers in the military. [Check out the embedded link on the first page of that article about criminal record waivers, also the starred reader comments (bottom of page); those are very interesting as well. --y.]

Although no comprehensive statistics have been compiled on the number of women soldiers raped in Iraq, rumors of the problem were so prevalent that in 2004 then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created a task force to look into the issue. Although the findings were never released publicly, the military created a website to deal with potential sexual assault in the military and also initiated classes on preventing sexual assault and harassment. The number of reported military assaults rose from 1700 in 2004 to more than 2300 in 2005.

But Benedict says, as with most sexual assaults, the actual number is vastly underreported.
This situation in Iraq is compounded because often those committing sexual assaults are senior officers or members of a woman's unit. There is also the problem of widespread availability of hard-core pornography on US military bases in Iraq, which helps create an atmosphere of sexual tension. Women who have reported sexual assaults, Benedict alleges, have often been ignored or treated as pariahs by fellow soldiers. Also, as she points out in the salon article, there's a long history of such allegations.
.................................................................
In an interview with radio program Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, Iraq veteran Mickiela Montoya talked about why she carried a knife in Iraq to protect her safety.

SPC. MICKIELA MONTOYA: No, safe from the other soldiers. I never intended on using the knife for an Iraqi. I had my M-16 for that. But my knife, I always just kept it for another soldier, because any time I would have any type of strong sexual harassment words spoken, I just mainly felt a little bit more secure, and it was visible, too, to the other soldiers.

AMY GOODMAN: Did anything specifically happen to you?

SPC. MICKIELA MONTOYA: Yeah. That's why I would carry the knife. I remember it was really late, and over there they don't have electricity, so we run off generators, and if you scream or if you were to yell for help or anything like that, nobody could hear you, because you're not going to shoot a comrade, because these are your supposed battle buddies. So I would just use the knife as, I guess, a scare tactic, and it worked for me, because after that I never really had a problem.
................................................................
In response to a request from the NPR show "Day by Day" for comment on Benedict's allegations, the US military issued a statement that said it takes reports of sexual assault in the military seriously, and describes the measures the military is taking to deal with such reports: "...Sexual assault is a crime and is incompatible with military values. It inflicts incalculable harm on victims and their families; it tears at the very fabric of civilian and military communities; and it destroys trust among individuals and faith in our institutions. Our policy has three major components: prevention through education and training; enhanced treatment and support of victims to speed their recovery; and accountability measures to ensure system effectiveness..."

Finally, the Boston Globe reports that the US military is considering installing surveillance cameras in recruiting stations across the US in order to address a rise in misconduct allegations against recruiters. Those allegations include charges of sexual assault by military recruiters: "...More than 100 young women who had expressed interest in joining the military reported that their recruiters had victimized them, [an Associated Press] investigation found. The abuse included rape on couches in recruiting offices, assaults in government cars, and gropings en route to military entrance exams..."
15% of our active duty forces, and this kind of problem has been allowed to grow to this scale?
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,649
Local Time: 03:35 PM
Maybe AEON was right, a lot of the boys that sign up just can't keep it in their pants.
__________________

__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 03-19-2007, 05:43 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,974
Local Time: 04:35 PM

It's horrifying, but my hunch is that too many men in the military think the solution is to get rid of women in the military rather than hold the men responsible and change the existing mentality. Kick the MEN out who can't act like human beings. And why the hell do they allow men in the military who would do such things?

This is so hurtful to me as a woman and a citizen of this country, that women who are sacrificing and risking their lives and dying are subjected to this.
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It's horrifying, but my hunch is that too many men in the military think the solution is to get rid of women in the military rather than hold the men responsible and change the existing mentality. Kick the MEN out who can't act like human beings. And why the hell do they allow men in the military who would do such things?

This is so hurtful to me as a woman and a citizen of this country, that women who are sacrificing and risking their lives and dying are subjected to this.
^ I can't say it any better than that.

I wonder if sexual harassment training is part of basic training? If it's not, that's pretty odd considering most employers in the US make employees do some form of sexual harassment training. There were units on it in almost all of my business, management, and ethics courses and I have to go to a training segment on it for my job in a few weeks. I hope the military doesn't think its members are so altruistic they are above needed these refresher courses. If anything, the sexual harassment training at least lets every person know exactly where the company stands as far as what is considered unacceptable and what the consequences will be.
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:07 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 10:35 PM
I've never heard of such a course in Germany, neither that such a course existed at all.

Being a man I really have difficulties to understand why they can't keep themselves under control.

I'm sure some will come up and say it's due to the stress, but seriously, that's no excuse, and pretty weak as well.

That's really too much for me to understand.
__________________
Vincent Vega is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:22 PM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,272
Local Time: 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Maybe AEON was right, a lot of the boys that sign up just can't keep it in their pants.
No, it's women being temptresses in tents. You've got it all wrong.

This is really a disgrace. We should ask ourselves what kind of environment the military is fostering if such a substantial proportion of men is behaving criminally and treating women like nothing more than a chattel.
__________________
anitram is online now  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
AEON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: California
Posts: 4,052
Local Time: 02:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Maybe AEON was right, a lot of the boys that sign up just can't keep it in their pants.
While I do think this indicates a real problem - until the problem is resolved each soldier is still accountable for his own actions.
__________________
AEON is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:31 PM   #8
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 08:35 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Maybe AEON was right, a lot of the boys that sign up just can't keep it in their pants.
This isn't to you, bvs, but the nuances in discussing this bother me. We refer to them as soldiers. We refer to it as men who are after sex or can't keep it in their pants (again, not you, I know you were being sarcastic, bvs). Why? It's a criminal act. It's not about sex for an offender in jail for rape. We say 'we expect more from the armed forces' and are disappointed and ashamed when they do something like this. We shouldn't be, and shouldn't expect more. We shouldn't put them up in high places. They're just ordinary people doing brave things. Ordinary people who are as capable as the rest of us as becoming criminals and committing criminal acts.
__________________
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:49 PM   #9
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 10:35 PM
^ I agree with the general principle you're citing, but 2300 reported sexual assaults in one year is a jaw-droppingly high number, far, far above the average US rate relative to the size of the population in question (and that's not taking into account the much smaller number of women available to assault relative to the US as a whole). Something more is going on here than just the military proving to be a microcosm of its home society.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:52 PM   #10
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,272
Local Time: 04:35 PM
I agree with yolland. Domestic rates of sexual assault (reported) are not that high. So you do have to consider the context in trying to determine why the rates are so drastically elevated in the military. I don't think it has anything to do with us being shocked because we expect more from soldiers. To me, the real question is what sort of culture is the military fostering and how does that relate to the rash of of assaults we are seeing. Is it being run like some sort of antiquated old boys club? And why is there such an outcry to protect straight men in the military from women and gays when evidence clearly points here that the most criminal group of of those three is the first one.
__________________
anitram is online now  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:21 PM   #11
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 08:35 AM
I don't disagree with any of you, I was just making a general comment on how we stay focused on certain aspects which seems at the cost of others.
I also agree with the reported cases in general not being that high, and that is due to the contexts of domestic assaults and so on being the highest. Anyway, that is a separate issue. The psychology in rape and sexual assault probably has a real breeding ground or at least very appealing attraction in the military. If we consider what is known on the general psychological profile of someone who assaults, how well does that fit some of the character types who are drawn to the military? And we are only talking types here, while 15% is an alarmingly high number, there's still a ballpark figure of 80-90% who are not (or reportedly) like this.

Given the nature of sexual assault as a crime, I think it goes well beyond being a boys club or some such similar. I'm sure there are certainly an elevated number of incidents where that is the case, however, I'm wondering what the relationship between the types inside and outside of the military is, or if indeed there is any.
__________________
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:39 PM   #12
Blue Crack Addict
 
redkat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: racing to the waterside
Posts: 19,620
Local Time: 02:35 PM
There is also a sharp rise in the number of soldiers committing suicide than their domestic counterparts. I don't think you can compare domestic rates of anything with those of the soldiers at war. It's a different animal. Lord knows I'm not defending here but obviously whatever is going on or goes on in war makes people do things that they may not do otherwise.

It's not about keeping it in their pants. It's a violent act that's taking place in a violent setting. Surely we can do better to protect our female soldiers though.
__________________
redkat is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:54 PM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje


^ I can't say it any better than that.

I wonder if sexual harassment training is part of basic training?

It is part of EVERY soldiers training YEARLY.
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:55 PM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


It is part of EVERY soldiers training YEARLY.
Thanks. Good to know.
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 03-19-2007, 08:15 PM   #15
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,472
Local Time: 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


It is part of EVERY soldiers training YEARLY.


why isn't it working?

(and i don't mean to sound precious - honestly, what's going wrong here)
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is online now  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com