The 18.45 Link 13

Justin on International Women’s Day

In 2009 reported sexual assaults went up 11 percent, according to Department of Defense statistics, with one in three women reporting having been sexually violated while serving in the military. The Pentagon itself admits that reported incidents probably represent just 20 percent of those that actually occur. Female recruits are now far more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed in combat.

Those figures are difficult to process. There are currently something like 1.8 million women in the US military. That’s 600,000 sexual assaults.

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13 thoughts on “The 18.45 Link

  • CanSpeccy

    "There are currently something like 1.8 million women in the US military. That’s 600,000 sexual assaults."

    But if as the "Pentagon itself admits [the] reported incidents probably represent just 20 percent of those that actually occur" then either every woman in the US military is raped at least once every year, or some women are being raped all the time!

    Maybe they rape easy. I mean, why else would they join the military — given the odds?

    • Clarq

      Alfred, "sexual assault" is broader than, and includes, rape. So obviously, sexual assaults outnumber rapes.

  • JimmyGiro

    Knowing people as we do, how many rapists have you known, and how many liars ?

    I have met many liars, both men and women, but I've yet to meet a rapist.

  • Duncan_McFarlan

    I had read about the woman who worked for Halliburton and was raped by other employees of the firm in Iraq, then told by the firm to shut-up, but i had no idea rape was that common in the US military. That's really pretty shocking.

    And CanSpeccy – easy to mock, but it's unlikely they have any idea what the odds are before joining the military – especially as the army tends to recruit from people with no other way to get the money to get themselves a college education except join the army – and so denied a proper education until it's too late.

  • sam

    Thank you for marking International Women's Day, Craig.

    I caught a video of Annie Lennox on SkyNews today. She gave current statistics that are shocking. Globally, women do 2/3rds of the world's work and own 1% of the world's property.

    In every sphere, women in 2011 are unequal to men.

    Health – diseases are defined by men. So if a woman's illness, despite crucial differences in physiology, does not appear to be textbook then the male or female (aka as a pseudo male professionally) doctor discounts her illness and writes it down to 'female neurosis' or some such twaddle. Regularly with fatal results.

    Crime – crimes are defined by men. So rape is downgraded – all part of being a woman, put up or shut up. How many rapes were prosecuted in UK last year? 4%. Sexual assault is so ubiquitous that women have their own secret euphemistic lexicon amongst themselves to describe their assault, trauma, shame – because no one listens.
    Some crimes are particular to females – subtle bullying, intimidation and harassment, for example – that they are simply off the judicial system's radar. Female styles of offending are no less damaging.

    Education – globally, how many females complete secondary education compared to males? Look it up. The disparity is shocking.

    Poverty – even in the 'developed' world, women are economically far worse off than men of the same age, educational achievement, abilities/disabilities.

    Still in 2011, in just about every sphere, women are forced to accommodate male perspectives, male needs, male violence. In ways that most men simply can't or won't begin to understand.

    Craig, you write passionately and eloquently against the heinous use of torture. I admire you for your courageous stand. In my humble opinion, the torture which you decry is simply another face of man's inhumanity to man, woman and child.

  • Quisling

    For centuries armies have raped women as a normal part of war. That has always been considered part of the booty (pardon the pun) that goes to the conquerer. I'm thankful for the brave women who volunteer to serve that important function in the military.

  • Suhaylsaadi

    This is indeed horrifying, but perhaps not entirely unsurprising. After all, rape has been used very deliberately as a major strategic tool of war – by all armies – for centuries. It was certainly the case wrt the Pakistan Army in Bangladesh in the 1971 War of Independence, for example. So it's not surprising that the normative tactics of war continue, unabated, internally within the armed forces themselves.

  • ingo

    Rape is not taken to be a full crime anymore, even in this coubntry women have to jump though hoops and stand on their head in order to get rapists to court. getting them to jail is even harder, judges in this country are obfusecating and belittling rape every time they put that niffy sheepskin on their heads.

    Rape within the forces should be prosecuted even harder as these people live in close surrounding at all times in multiple trust positions that have to work together to make the armed forces work.

    Make you wonder what would happen if US forces would be male only, would it make a difference to rape figures?

  • Sahar, London

    It's a shame, the US does need to tighten up its procedures to protect it's female staff. And the Pakistani Army DID rape many Bengali women – they used to forcibly take away girls and married women from villages to service their officers. Most were never seen again, some were left to carry the enemies babies. (Of course, not all the Pakistani troops were to blame, but certainly some of their leaders allowed it to happen). A village (Shiramisi, in Jagannathpur , Sunamganj province) near my father's had over 3,000 people, (civilians and some resistance fighters) lined up and gunned by a river bank – children and all. I feel military leaders are to blame – if we tighten up war crime procedures and make it widely known, I feel leaders will take note and it may reduce this sort of thing in the future as they will feel scared. The deterrent isn't there. – Sahar, London

  • Steve

    Sexual assault can mean anything from a tap on the bum to full on stranger rape. The figures quoted seem extreme and frankly unbelievable. And Ingo women may have to jump through hoops to get a conviction but as someone will be gaoled for 5 years to life and be put on the sex offender register for life I would hope that it takes a little more than someone’s word for it to convict. Many rapes reported to police are malicious or due to psychological issues probably stemming from past abuse. Stranger rape or assault are thankfully rare and make up a very small percentage of allegations.

  • Steve

    A very knowledgeable Detective Sergeant on the sex offences team told me once that 80% of allegations of rape the rape never happened and were malicious. 10% something happened but you will never be able to prove it. 5% Rape occurred after withdrawn consent and the last 5% were stranger rapes using real force and violence. This has mostly been true from my own observations police very rarely prosecute malicious informants as it discourages genuine victims from coming forward. Before anyone worries every rape reported to police is investigated very thoroughly with often hundreds of man hours spent on it even if that person has made 3 or 4 proved false claims in the past. Forensics are checked CCTV is watched samples are taken the victim is looked after and cared for at all times. No allegation is ignored or brushed over no matter how flawed the initial report is. But it is sole destroying to spend hours and days just to prove it didn’t happen.

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