Archetype in Action™ Organization

Sat11012014

Last updateWed, 29 Oct 2014 5pm

Font Size

Profile

Menu Style

Cpanel

Archetype in Action™ Organization

Top 40 Articles

Human Rights

Abuse of Women & Children

Human Trafficking

Role of Women in Society

Archetype in Action Organization

Military Rape and Sexual Assault

 

After a decade of war The Pentagon has been confronted with the raging wildfire of Military Rape/Sexual Assault and the burgeoning diagnosis of Military Sexual Trauma.  With one third of all women wearing a uniform becoming a victim while serving during a time of war the military realizes they have a problem--a problem that has set me unintentionally afire.

 

Recently the dirty little secret of military rape was thrust into my field of vision by a discussion on the Midtown Productions Documentary, “The Silent Truth”, recounting the murder and rape of PFC Lavena Johnson of the United States Army in 2005 in Balad, Iraq while serving our nation in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

I began to identify an uneasy feeling swelling within my chest.  I needed to extinguish this growing flame.  Every attempt I made only added to this unrest making it worse.

 

Perhaps it was that through this last week white men (their photos displayed in the identifying corner of the members comment box) would systematically post on the comment thread discussing PFC Johnson's dead and desecrated body on the website, conversationally, in a military member "group", detached with disbelief and complete self assured doubt that rape and murder of our female service members is a reality. That stoked my fire!

 

That the report in question must be a weird form of activism or just plain untrue rants that required more details, like pictures of her burned body, or of the bullet hole in the left side of her head when she was right handed or the refusal to believe her very Father's account of what he witnessed as a veteran himself when he went to view her remains before he placed her in peace and buried her that upset me.

 

Or their refusal to watch the three videos from reputable news reports embedded in the article became incendiary devices.

 

I don't know, maybe it was the choice to ignore versus acknowledge numerous posters supplying links into the conversation thread that provided additional sources for the credentialing of that particular rape and murder that left me feeling my temperature rise.  People simply refuse to use the resources available to be informed.

 

Because, we all know, women douche with acid and set ourselves on fire after shooting ourselves in the head with our non dominant hand, as our statistically recorded and most common form of self induced death.

 

In an attempt to douse my growing internal blaze I broke my rule this week and replied on a thread about rape and murder of a US Army member. Pfc. Johnson was barely twenty when her mutilated body was discovered in a burning tent on her post in Iraq 2007.  I did my very best to not "blow steam".  The details are gut wrenching and you are welcome to take five seconds to Google, which too many network  members would not do,  and find out for yourself why her case has been the impetus for the government to re-evaluate the subject of rape upon on service-members by their brethren.

 

Maybe the embers were pre existing from memories of my husband reporting home after a several week stint in the "box", a place where they live as if they are overseas while still being Stateside, to prepare the soldiers for the rigors of their coming year long deployment into Iraq and his sharing of their "rape prevention" session.

 

At six foot one, 200 pounds he is not a small fellow.  The instructor called him up for a demonstration.  They called him "a big hoss".  And yet the protocols of the Army's policy of never moving about the camp without a buddy and a gun was the point.  Men are being raped during their deployments.  They made it clear his size, knowledge of military combatants, and background as an elite Special Forces soldier gave him no safety assurances.  They will attack in numbers, disarm and rape.  "They" will rape men. The "they" are foreign nationals who are employed on the bases, brought in from several countries, and your fellow service members.

 

Recently I asked my combat medic spouse if there had been any cases of rape that he had to personally treat.    I asked because when he had been in Kosovo he witnessed the reality of one of the most favorite tools of war and genocide: wartime rape.

 

We have had many conversations over the years about what he endured in Kosovo.   From deactivating booby traps in torture chambers the Serbians used on other ethnic groups, walls of those chambers unintentionally decorated with splattered brain matter and reeking of decaying flesh, or cutting the electricity to the live electrical wires used on human genitals, my then sweet young boyfriend saw a few things I wish he was spared.  I knew he was not oblivious to military rape, wartime rape and the consequences service members live with whether they are a direct victim,  a witness to the systematic blowback within a unit , or as an aware human.

 

He told me one afternoon that "A female soldier had a bad habit".  He is not blaming her.  Yet her habit was indeed a very poor choice.

 

He continued on by sharing how she would get up in a time of day the military calls " 0'dark thirty".  This is a time of day where the nether worlds of night and dusk meet.  Most of us are asleep during the slow collision between a late night and early morning.   If you have been around any active service-member you would know they often rise at this time of day.

 

Approximately during the hours of 3-4am she would go shower.

 

She would go alone.

 

This broke all rules on movement.

 

You are never to move alone. "Move" is as simple as going to eat, work out, report to your place of duty, and for women, if you were not near a toilet, as in there was not a toilet in your housing, and there isn't in most cases: you went together.

 

Two male U.S. soldiers, members of her camp, learned of her routine. They watched for weeks to verify it was a pattern.  One morning they attacked her in the showers.  She was found unresponsive and severely beaten.  She was brutally sexually assaulted.  She suffered facial trauma requiring massive immediate surgery and subsequent reconstructive surgeries.  Bones were broken.  She was left naked in the shower stall unconscious and discovered by other female soldiers hours later.   She had no choice in reporting the incident.  It became a matter of life and death getting her from her FOB (“Forward Operating Base”) to Camp Basra for stabilization and then transported on to Germany where the major health care facilities of the military are located for the continuation of critical care she now required.

 

Back on my husband's FOB a team descended to speak to the female soldiers.  In between mortar strikes and the nerve wracking responsiveness of the Phalanx defense Units, often called R2D2's, the women were briefed on safety protocols. The women were separated from the men and a female Commissioned officer came to speak to them.  They were given a lecture they have heard their entire military tenure.  The lecture was to address the incident and take an additional opportunity to reinforce what services are provided, where to go, and what to expect if you actually access these services.

 

 As men, you do not typically get told in the service, until recently, that you can be raped, it happens, be prepared, practice safety measures, carry your weapons, draw them if needed and be prepared to shoot.

 

If your number comes up and you join the ranks of 30% of all female service members that are indeed raped or sexually assaulted......blah blah blah.

 

Until he was gearing up to go to Iraq this past year this is the first time I had heard of warning military men of the dangers of rape.

 

Hallelujah.

 

Because men here in America, hear me: it is not a crime of sex, nor is it only gay men on other gay or straight men crime and no woman asks for it. Rape is about power and 60% of rapists know their target.  99% of all rapes are perpetrated by men.  1 in 6 MEN are raped or sexually assaulted.  Approximately only 5% of reported rapes are prosecuted in our civilian courts and about 3% of reported military rapes are converted to formal charges.  The Pentagon has publicly stated that their research causes them to suspect that only 10-13% of Military rape is actually being reported.

 

Let's work the statistical numbers and break this down.

 

If there are 100 military rapes a in a calendar year:

 

10-13 will be reported.

 

1.3 will face prosecution under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice/UCMJ.

 

Women in our society are made aware through every possible means that rape is part of our collective dynamic.  Just ask a woman near you.  She can tell you of all the briefings we are given through schools, out reach programs, churches, friends, men who care and through public service announcements on the news after a story of rape is covered.

 

We grow up with this as a part of our lives.  It is in our collective vernacular, how rape effects women of any social and economic status, ethnicity, religious belief systems, ages, and more practically as a point to men, this is how we as a the female of our species experience our environment; most women personally know of another woman who was raped or sexually assaulted, if they are not a survivor themselves.

 

You would think that, because of the structure, honor and integrity our military prides itself in, rape would not be an issue and our military women would find safe harbor from society's shameful epidemic of rape while serving.   Drawing from the UCMJ, Uniformed Code of Military Justice, that addresses all areas of personal conduct in and out of uniform, appearance, even addressing the highly private act of adultery, that rape would not be allowed and anyone committing rape would face severe consequences.

 

There is a systematic failure by our military to prevent and worse punish those who rape.  This is not an opinion this is math.  Again, if one third of all women in the military are raped or sexually assaulted there is indeed a problem.  If there is over ten times as many rape victims being raped by their military community than there are total war dead over a decade of war on two fronts, then there is a failure in the system the military is utilizing to prevent rape and sexual assault.

 

According to the recent data collected on what is now being called "MST", Military Sexual Trauma, which refers to the mental issues from the assault, think of it as a sibling to PTSD, the numbers of rape are growing.  In 2008 there were slightly over 1,000 rapes reported over the calendar year in our military.  Now in 2012 the number is closer to 3200.

 

Do the math.  Over ten years of war there have been at least 100,000 women in uniform raped or sexually assaulted while serving.  I used conservative numbers of ten thousand per year to reach my conclusion.  I took the mean number between reported cases and Pentagon statistics over the past ten years.  Basically, Pentagon's very own investigations state that they "believe" they are only receiving accounts on10%-13% of military rape and sexual assaults.

 

More women are being raped every year than "we",  as a country, have in total war dead as a nation in ten years of wartime activities which currently reports our war dead for both wars at 7,789.

 

Operation Iraqi Freedom reports 4,804 deaths and Operation Enduring Freedom 2,985.

 

7,789 versus 100,000

 

"Sexual assault is a wider societal problem and Defense Secretaries Gates and Panetta have been working with the service chiefs to make sure the U.S. military is doing all it can to prevent and respond to it," Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary, wrote in an e-mail to NBC. 

 

In a recent February 2011 article by Michael Isikoff, a National investigative correspondent for NBC news, an official response by the Pentagon from Kaye Whitley, Director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said, "This is a tough issue." 

 

Whitely continued, "We're talking about changing the way people think and the way people feel … the research tells us it takes eight to ten years to change the culture."

 

These quotes were generated in a response to litigation filed in 2011 by 14 female service members against Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, "charging that both have failed to take aggressive measures to deal with the problem or follow edicts from Congress".

 

The Pentagon believes due to the low reporting of rape that the number is closer to 19,000 rapes in 2011.  That means thirty percent of our women who answered the call to serve our nation are paid back for their service with a crime against their person.

 

I know two women personally who served and are survivors of military rape/sexual assault and currently suffer MST.  I had my own run in with wartime rape while volunteering overseas.  I was tasked with notifying the family of an 8-year-old girl that she was raped and murdered.  She was found redressed with her zippered pants on backwards.

 

I guess that could be why I found myself reacting with a slow internal burn to the posters on that particular network's thread.  The reactions were polarized.  Either, it was true and needed to be addressed, the women's replies, or the men's repeated reaction that these things just "couldn't be true," and that rape is "not a serious problem  as they are making it sound for our female troops or they would address the situation "  hits me hard.

 

And what these men do not know is due to the sheer numbers of unreported rape there is a very real reality that a women very close to them, the very woman that lays her head beside these posters, may be carrying the silent truth of being the 1 out of 4  who has been raped or sexually assaulted herself.  For as much as women talk; we are often silent about rape.    Only 1 out of 10 rapes are reported.

 

As much as we love and trust the man we live with we do not want you to ever look at us with a filter of "us" women being broken or damaged goods. We crave the looks of love and acceptance from you so much that we will carry these experiences the rest of our lives and never admit that we were once attacked.

 

I ask that people accept the truth in numbers of reports from government agencies, like the Pentagon, which does not want to have this reality of service members raping other service members.  Sadly, military rape/ sexual assault and MST are a very real problem for these institutions who have been stretched too thin with the burdens of a decade of combat operations on two battlefronts.  It will indeed require a complete shift in our collective paradigm as a people to change the way rape and sexual assault is perceived and punished.

 

I will not pretend to have some agenda or prescription to cure this ailment. I simply need civilian sexual assault, military rape, military sexual assault, civilian rape.....any RAPE  or SEXUAL ASSAULT to  stop.

 

 Until then I am on fire.

 

 Burn baby burn.

 

Online Sources

 

2011, Catholic Online

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2010/12/2010122182546344551.html

 

 Sandy Cohen ,AP,  Via FOX News Inc.

 

http://afterdeployment.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/client-handouts/mst-sexual-assault-harassment.pdf

 

LA Times

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/08/nation/na-women-soldier-suicides8

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4159862">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41598622/ns/us_news-life/t/lawsuit-claims-pentagon-turned-blind-eye-military-rape-

 

PBS

 

victims/#.T6AXuxB5mSMhttp://http://www.rwu.edu/c">www.rwu.edu/campus-life/health-

counseling/counseling-center/sexual-assault/rape-myths-and-fac

 

http://servicewomen.org/our-work/policy/

 

http://www.ptsdcombat.com/do">http://www.ptsdcombat.com/documents/ptsdcombat_war-list_oef-oif-statistics.pdf

 

Ian Simpson , Reuters

 

http://news.yahoo.com/eight-women-allege-rape-assault-military-suit-172457382.html

 

Bibliography

 

Anderson, M., 2003, “Prostitution and Trauma in U.S. Rape Law,” Journal of Trauma Practice, 2(3/4): 75–92.

Anderson, M., 2005a, “All-American Rape”, St. John's Law Review, 79: 625–644.

–––, 2005b, “Negotiating Sex”, Southern California Law Review, 78: 1401–1438.

Archard, D., 1998, Sexual Consent, Boulder: Westview Press.

Archard, D., 1997, “‘A Nod's as Good as a Wink’: Consent, Convention, and Reasonable Belief”, Legal Theory, 3: 273–290.

Askin, K., 2003, “Prosecuting Wartime Rape and Other Gender-Related Crimes under International Law: Extraordinary Advances, Enduring Obstacles”, Berkeley Journal of International Law, 21: 288–349.

Banerjee, N., 2003, “After the War: Urban Violence—Rape (and Silence About It) Haunts Baghdad”, New York Times, July 16.

Baron, M., 2001, “I Thought She Consented”, Philosophical Issues, 11: 1–32.

Barry, K., 1984, Female Sexual Slavery, New York: New York University Press.

Baxi, P., Rai, S., and Ali, S., 2006, “Legacies of Common Law: ‘Crimes of Honour’ in India and Pakistan”, Third World Quarterly, 27: 1239–1253.

Bevacqua, M., 2000, Rape on the Public Agenda: Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Assault, Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Brison, S., 2002, Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Brownmiller, S., 1975, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, New York: Simon and Schuster.

Burgess-Jackson, K., 1996, Rape: A Philosophical Investigation, Brookfield, VT: Dartmouth Publishing Company.

Burgess-Jackson, K., 2000, “A Crime Against Women: Calhoun on the Wrongness of Rape”, Journal of Social Philosophy, 31(3): 286–293.

Cahill, A., 2001, Rethinking Rape, Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.

Campbell, K., 2003, “Rape as a ‘Crime Against Humanity’: Trauma, Law and Justice in the ICTY”, Journal of Human Rights, 2(4): 507–515.

Caringella, S., 2008, Addressing Rape Reform in Law and Practice, New York: Columbia University Press.

Card, C., 1991, “Rape as a Terrorist Institution”, in Violence, Terrorism, and Justice, R. Frey and C. Morris (eds.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 296–319.

Collins, P., 2000, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (2nd ed.), New York: Routledge.

Collins, P., 2005, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism, New York: Routledge.

Davis, A., 1981, “Rape, Racism, and the Myth of the Black Rapist”, in Women, Race, and Class, New York: Vintage Books.

Dines, G., 1998, “King Kong and the White Woman: Hustler Magazine and the Demonization of Black Masculinity”, Violence Against Women, 4(3): 291–307.

Dines, G., 2006, “The White Man's Burden: Gonzo Pornography and the Construction of Black Masculinity”, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 18(1): 283–297.

Donovan, R. and M. Williams, 2002, “Living at the Intersection: The Effects of Racism and Sexism on Black Rape Survivors”, Women and Therapy, 25(3/4): 95–105.

Dorr, L., 2008, “The Perils of the Back Seat: Date Rape, Race and Gender in 1950s America”, Gender & History, 20(1): 27–47.

Dworkin, A., 1976, Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics, New York: Perigee Books.

Dworkin, A., 1997, Life and Death: Unapologetic Writings on the Continuing War Against Women, New York: Free Press.

Estrich, S., 1987, Real Rape, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Estrich, S., 1992, “Palm Beach Stories”, Law and Philosophy, 11(1/2): 5–33.

Falk, P., 1998, “Rape by Fraud and Rape by Coercion”, Brooklyn Law Review, 64: 39–180.

Faludi. S., 2007, The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America, New York: Metropolitan Books.

Foley, L., et. al., 1995, “Date Rape: Effects of Race of Assailant and Victim and Gender of Subjects on Perceptions”, Journal of Black Psychology, 21(1): 6–18.

Frye and Shafer, 1977, “Rape and Respect”, in Feminism and Philosophy, M. Vetterling-Braggin, F. Elliston and J. English (eds.), Savage, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 333–346.

Frye, M., 1983, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory, Freedom CA: Crossing Press.

George, W., and L. Martinez, 2002, “Victim Blaming in Rape: Effects of Victim and Perpetrator Race, Type of Rape, and Participant Racism”, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26: 110–119.

Goertz, K., 1998, “Transgenerational Representations of the Holocaust: From Memory to Post-memory”, World Literature Today, 72: 33–38.

Goodhart, M., 2007, “Sins of the Fathers: War Rape, Wrongful Procreation, and Children's Human Rights”, Journal of Human Rights, 6: 307–324.

Greenfield, L., 1997, “Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault”, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Hall, J., 1983, “The Mind that Burns in Each Body: Women, Rape, and Racial Violence”, in Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, A. Snitow, C. Stansell, and S. Thompson (eds.), New York: Monthly Review Press.

Hampton, J., 1999, “Defining Wrong and Defining Rape”, in A Most Detestable Crime: New Philosophical Essays on Rape, K. Burgess-Jackson (ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 118–156.

Herman, J., 1997, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, New York: Basic Books.

Hinck, S. and R. Thomas, 1999, “Rape Myth Acceptance in College Students: How Far Have We Come?”, Sex Roles, 40(9/10): 815–832.

Hubin, D. and K. Haely, 1999, “Rape and the Reasonable Man”, Law and Philosophy, 18: 113–139.

Husak, D. and G. Thomas, 1992, “Date Rape, Social Convention, and Reasonable Mistakes”, Law and Philosophy, 11: 95–126.

Jeffreys, S., 1997, The Idea of Prostitution, North Melbourne, Australia: Spinifex Press.

Jeffreys, S., 2007, “Double Jeopardy: Women, the U.S. Military, and the War in Iraq”, Women's Studies International Forum, 30: 16–25.

Johnson, A., 2005, The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy (2nd ed.), Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Kazan, P., 1998, “Sexual Assault and the Problem of Consent”, in Violence Against Women: Philosophical Perspectives, S. French, W. Teays and L. Purdy (eds.), Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 27–42.

Kerns, L., 2001, “A Feminist Perspective: Why Feminists Should Give the Reasonable Woman Standard Another Chance”, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 10(2): 195–230.

MacKinnon, C., 1987, Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

–––, 1989a, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

–––, 1989b, “Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: ‘Pleasure Under Patriarchy’”, Ethics 99: 314–346.

–––, 2005, Women's Lives, Men's Laws, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

–––, 2006, Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

May, L. and R. Strikwerda, 1994, “Men in Groups: Collective Responsibility for Rape”, Hypatia, 9(2): 134–151.

McGregor, J., 1996, “Why When She Says No She Doesn't Mean Maybe and Doesn't Mean Yes: A Critical Reconstruction of Consent, Sex, and the Law”, Legal Theory, 2: 175–208.

Neville, H., M. Heppner, E. Oh, L. Spanierman, and M. Clark, 2004, “General and Culturally Specific Factors Influencing Black and White Rape Survivors' Self-Esteem”, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28: 83–94.

Pineau, L., 1989, “Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis”, Law and Philosophy, 8(2): 217–243.

Roberts, D., 1997, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty, New York: Vintage Books.

Ruggi, S., 1998, “Commodifying Honor in Female Sexuality: Honor Killings in Palestine”, Middle East Report, 206: 12–15.

Sanday, P., 1996, A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial, New York: Doubleday.

Scheppele, K., 1991, “The Reasonable Woman”, The Responsive Community, 1(4): 36–47.

Schulhofer, S., 1998, Unwanted Sex: The Culture of Intimidation and the Failure of Law, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Seifert, R., 1996, “The Second Front: The Logic of Sexual Violence in Wars”, Women's Studies International Forum, 19(1/2): 35–43.

Smith, A., 2006, “Boarding School Abuses, Human Rights and Reparations”, Journal of Religion & Abuse, 8: 5–21.

Smith, A., 2005, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, Boston: South End Press.

Tjaden, P. and N. Thoennes, 2000, “Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey”, Washington DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

Wellman, C., 2006, “A Defense of Stiffer Penalties for Hate Crimes”, Hypatia, 21(2): 62–80.

West, R., 1996, “A Comment on Consent, Sex, and Rape”, Legal Theory, 2: 233–251.

Whisnant, R., 2007, “‘A Woman's Body is Like a Foreign Country: Thinking about National and Bodily Sovereignty”, in Global Feminist Ethics, P. DesAutels and R. Whisnant (eds.), Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 155–176.

Wyatt, G., 1992, “The Sociocultural Context of African American and White American Women's Rape”, Journal of Social Issues, 48(1): 77–91.