Don’t ask, don’t tell? Looks like it’s more than just abhorrent, hateful policy for our military.
John Leslie forwarded this piece from CNN:
‘My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military,’ said Harman, who has long sought better
protection of women in the military.
‘Twenty-nine percent say they were raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and downward spirals many of their lives have taken since.
‘We have an epidemic here,’ she said. ‘Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.’
As of July 24, 100 women had died in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
In 2007, Harman said, only 181 out of 2,212 reports of military sexual assaults, or 8 percent, were referred to courts martial. By comparison, she said, 40 percent of those arrested in the civilian world on such charges are prosecuted.
I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a soldier to report a rape. The culture of the military (PDF) resents weakness, and to report oneself as a victim presents an enormous challenge.
Speaking of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network was in Philly this summer to help push the movement to end this policy. Philly’s LGBQT community has been working for decades to help bring issues like this to light, which show us the inequities homosexuals face that are beyond marriage.
They still face an uphill battle.