Military Vets Sue Defense Secretaries For Sexual Abuse In The Service
Rape and sexual abuse runs rampant in the US Military says a group of former and current US Military personnel. A group of over a dozen females and two males claim that the abuse is allowed to happen, and Military personnel are often ordered to continue serving next to their abusers.
A Federal lawsuit filed on February 15, names the current Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and is asking for the Military to begin using an outside group to handle allegations of sexual abuse and rape.
Boston.com cites one incident where an Army Reservist was raped in Iraq. The victim’s rape was videotaped and distributed around to other servicemembers. The commander reviewed the evidence and decided that the victim didn’t act like a rape victim, and she “didn’t struggle enough”, even though she had bruises from her shoulders to her elbows from where she had been held down.
A new Rape Hotline had already been in the works to be rolled out to Military personnel in April. An department was created in 2005 that is charged with preventing sexual assault.
In the defense spending bill last year, there was a provision that required the Military to form a better system of reporting and documenting sexual assaults. It also requires the Department of Defense to offer legal counsel to victims of sexual assault whether they want to press charges or not.
According to Boston.com and one of the members of the lawsuit, the reason commanders do not want to deal with the rapes, is they do not want bad marks in their file for having sexual assault in their units. The same person states that she reported a rape in 2006, but her commander just moved her one floor down from the attacker, where she stayed for two years.
If this is true, which I tend to believe it is, then this is terrible. The military is here to protect the citizens of our country. And those who are willing to go die for our freedoms, should not fear their own team. These cases should be investigated by the Federal government and those involved should be reprimanded and even jailed. I would like to see some dishonorable discharges if people can be convicted of any of these crimes, past, present, and future.