Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Morally repugnant epidemic must be swiftly stopped.

According to at least one peer-reviewed study, one in three women is raped during their term of US military service. If true, this is an astounding statistic, and an ongoing national tragedy that must be stopped.

Servicewomen (and men) offer us their lives, we owe them the dignity and respect they deserve.

Servicewomen (and men) offer us their lives, we owe them the dignity and respect they deserve.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/24/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: US military, rape, sexual assault, military sexual trauma, women in the military, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates, statistics and


WASHINGTON DC (Catholic Online) - Now, a civil lawsuit is being brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, charging that under their leadership the military failed to adequately and effectively investigate and prosecute rapes and sexual assaults within the ranks.

The suit was filed last February, and initially named 16 plaintiffs, but has now grown to more than 30. As word of the suit spreads, a greater number of women are coming forward to report cases of sexual assault.

A growing number of advocates are claiming that sexual assault and rape are widespread in the military. At least 200,000 women currently serve with the US military on active duty. However, it is shortsighted to assume that only women are affected. According to other statistics, at least 27 percent of men serving in the military are estimated to have suffered what psychologists call "military sexual trauma" which is either sexual assault, or repeated harassment and threatened assault. 

These figures raise several questions. First, why are sexual assault and rape so widespread in the military? Particularly, when the US military prides itself on discipline and honor. Second, should the role of women serving alongside men be re-evaluated? Finally, what should be done to protect all members of the service and to redress the egregious wrongs that these victims have suffered?
Answers to these questions are subject to individual opinion, however, one thing is certain. The male-dominated culture of the military both facilitates and actively encourages the concealment of such reprehensible behavior.

One woman involved in the suit, who spoke anonymously to reporters said, "My experience reporting military sexual assault was worse than the actual assault. The command has so much power over a victim of sexual assault. They are your judge, jury, executioner and mayor: they own the law. As I saw in my case, they are able to crush you for reporting an assault." This victim was a former Marine Corps officer and a veteran of the Iraq war and was compelled to leave the military because of the way in which she was treated following her report.

The military and a congressional task force both agree that sexual assault in the military is substantial. The Department of Defense claims they're working to curb the problem, but even the most recent evidence suggests that their efforts, whatever they may be, are having little impact.
Worse, people are systematically intimidated and discouraged from reporting. Prosecution rates of sexual assault in the military is a mere 8 percent, and most cases are never reported. For most victims, the assault is merely the beginning. Following the assault, they are forced to re-live their trauma as they are persecuted for coming forward.

High-ranking officers have remained untouchable and free from prosecution for a long time. Soldiers are kept from their homes for extended periods of time, and they are deprived of close human contact. The stress of service and frustration builds and men become tempted to take advantage of women who are intoxicated, or to abuse power relationships within the chain of command to exploit victims. And in some cases, the victims are simply assaulted.

But to be clear, regardless of the factors, sexual assault is entirely without excuse.

Also, discouragement of its reporting is also without excuse and is tantamount to the abuse itself.

Finally, the act of persecuting the victim is dishonorable, and morally repugnant.

It is true that the United States demands much of its service personnel. While military service is both an honor and a duty, and carries with it substantial risk to life and limb, the risk of sexual assault and abuse is one risk that no service member should fear. But with a third of all women and possibly a quarter of the men experiencing some type of sexual abuse, or trauma, it is clear that changes have to be made.

Immediately.


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


Guest Commentary by Ken Blackwell: Houston's Mayor is Endangering Civil Rights

Image of Ken Blackwell

By Ken Blackwell

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ... continue reading


Suspected Indiana serial killer foiled by text messages Watch

Image of Darren Deon Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly even more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Darren Deon Vann told Indiana Police he "messed up" and expressed surprise that he was found so quickly, in the biggest understatement in recent memory. Vann is suspected in the death of a woman in Hammond - and possibly six more in neighboring Gary, possibly ... continue reading


United States developing quick-strike team to deal with Ebola Watch

Image of The U.S. Ebola strike team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the crisis in Dallas, the United States is developing a 30-person "quick-strike team" in order to attend to the needs of Ebola patients within the U.S. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month. The ... continue reading


After 21 days, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan are Ebola free Watch

Image of Thomas Eric Duncan's family, including his fiancee and her son and nephews, are nearing the end of their 21 day quarantine. So far, none of the four have developed Ebola like symptoms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan-the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States-is nearing the end of a 21 day quarantine, and she and her son and two nephews are grateful that this period is coming to an end. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If ... continue reading


Supreme Court backs Texas' war on voter fraud Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court has backed a 2013 Texas law that requires voters to show ID before they submit a vote.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Texas the go ahead for a law that requires voters in the state to show certain forms of identification before they are able to cast a ballot. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The October 18 decision came from a majority of ... continue reading


Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter