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Sexual Abuse in U.S. Military

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Failure of the Department of Defense: Sexual Abuse Still Rampant Within Military Ranks Tara Conklin Military History Professor Mustafa November 6, 2006 The United States Armed Forces have recognized sexual assault as an issue, and created the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Policy. There are numerous reports still being made by female officers. Sexual Abuse is also often not reported, but none the less still an issue, especially amongst male service members. The programs created by the Department of Defense have not provided service members with adequate results, leading to AWOL status, death, attempted suicide and discharge. Have the programs implemented for the prevention of sexual assault in the Military been successful? Events such as the 1991 Tailhook scandal, and the 2003 Air Force Academy scandal, brought this issue into the limelight. At the Tailhook Convention in Las Vegas,1991, more than one hundred officers sexually assaulted and harassed several dozen female soldiers. There were no convictions. 1 In 2003, at the Air Force Academy, reports of sexual assault were made by one hundred forty-two cadets. There were no convictions.2 In January 2004, the Department of Defense created the Sexual Assault Policy. The policy provided a clear cut definition of what was to be considered sexual assault. The policy also provided a prevention and response training to all Department of Defense personnel, which was diverse in intensity from each branch of service.3 To be included were rape, nonconsensual sodomy, indecent exposure or any attempt to commit any of those.4 Training also branched out to include pre-deployment response groups.5 To provide increased support to victims, ...read more.


with a suitable outcome31 Swift planned to re-deploy with the rest of her unit to Iraq, but when the time came, she couldn't force herself to leave.32 Swift was arrested because she had gone AWOL.33 Suzanne is awaiting trail and continues to work on her base.34 In a startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior US military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq. In January of this year, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration, that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day for fear of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.35 The women we stationed at Camp Victory, where the latrines were not located near their barracks, and had no lights to illuminate them.36 These factors left the women exposed to become easy targets for sexual abuse. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.37 Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition's joint task force said in a briefing that "women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were ...read more.


A former Marine said he was beaten and sexually assaulted in training camp in 1975 was dubbed a "training failure" and forced to leave the service.53 In 1978, another man who had said he was raped in Army basic training camp. He was fined by his commander for an unspecified offense.54 Carlos Guice, was raped by a superior while in basic training in 1983 at Dover Air Force Base.55 Blaming himself, he never reported the rape to the authorities. He said, I was afraid people would think I was gay. I would be ostracized."56 Guice was sexually abuse as a child, he was well aware of the consequences of speaking out. His assailant, an officer told him, "No one would take the word of an enlisted man."57 According to psychiatrists from the division of Veteran's affairs, "The culture of the military itself contributes to all forms of aggression, and that includes rape."58 When acting director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Dr. Kaye Whitley, addressed the Committee on House Government Reform Subcommittee on violence against women in the military, he said "We're off to a good start, but let me be clear-to prevail over sexual assault will take time."59 Is this just an excuse on the debilitated response from the Department of Defense? Women as well as men who serve their country, deserve environment without the clutter of sexual predators and unwanted sexual advancements. The effects of the implementation of Sexual Assault Policies in the military have failed to provide this to female officers, and left male officers harboring treacherous images of sexual abuse they have endured without recognizing assaults upon males exist. ...read more.

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