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Rape in the US military: America's dirty little secret
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23 / F / Under your skin.
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Posted 12/12/11
Kate Weber says she tried to report a rape but was told to be quiet and not tell anyone.

"It was eight years before I was able to say the word that describes what happened to me," says Maricella Guzman. "I hadn't even been in the Navy a month. I was so young. I tried to report it. But instead of being taken seriously, I was forced to do push-ups."

"I can't sleep without drugs," says Kate Weber. "But even then, I often wake up in the middle of the night, crying, my mind racing. And I lie there awake in the dark, reliving the rape, looking for a second chance for it to end with a different outcome, but he always wins."

Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. So great is the issue that a group of veterans are suing the Pentagon to force reform. The lawsuit, which includes three men and 25 women (the suit initially involved 17 plaintiffs but grew to 28) who claim to have been subjected to sexual assaults while serving in the armed forces, blames former defence secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates for a culture of punishment against the women and men who report sex crimes and a failure to prosecute the offenders.

Since the lawsuit became public in February, 400 more have come forward, contacting attorney Susan Burke who is leading the case. These are likely to be future lawsuits. Right now they are anxiously awaiting a court ruling to find out if the lawsuit will go to trial. The defence team for the department of defence has filed a motion to dismiss the case, citing a court ruling, dating back to 1950, which states that the government is not liable for injury sustained by active duty personnel. To date, military personnel have been unable to sue their employer.

Whether or not the case goes to trial, it is still set to blow the lid on what has come to be regarded as the American military's dirty little secret. Last year 3,158 sexual crimes were reported within the US military. Of those cases, only 529 reached a court room, and only 104 convictions were made, according to a 2010 report from SAPRO (sexual assault prevention and response office, a division of the department of defence). But these figures are only a fraction of the reality. Sexual assaults are notoriously under-reported. The same report estimated that there were a further 19,000 unreported cases of sexual assault last year. The department of veterans affairs, meanwhile, released an independent study estimating that one in three women had experience of military sexual trauma while on active service. That is double the rate for civilians, which is one in six, according to the US department of justice.

"For years, I thought I was the only person this had happened to, but it's an epidemic," says Weber, 36, who recounts being raped 16 years ago in Germany, and describes herself as a "high-functioning" sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result.

She is now married and lives in San Francisco with her four children, but even after years of therapy, still cannot sleep at night. "Rape is so widespread in the American military, it's sick."

Worse still, the victim is likely to be blackballed by her own unit, and sometimes even demoted, according to Weber. "I first tried reporting the rape to my staff sergeant, he told me to be quiet and not tell anyone. So then I tried to tell a woman sergeant, who was beneath him, because I thought she'd be more sympathetic. She just cursed me for jumping the chain of command and not coming to her first. I went to the doctor, who did at least make a record of it, but he did nothing. I also told my 'battle buddy', a fellow female soldier. She said, 'I know that guy. He's married and he would never do such a thing. You're a liar and a slut.' Before long, I was being called a whore and a bitch by everyone. The guys were warning each other: 'This one will accuse you of rape, so stay away from her.' I was 18 years old, it was the first time I had ever been away from home. I had no idea what to do."

Stories such as Weber's are commonplace. On mydutytospeak.com, where victims of military rape can share their experiences, there are breathtaking tales of brutality and mistreatment. Only 21 years old, and weeks into her military training, Maricella Guzman says she ran to tell her supervisor in the hours after her rape at a military boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. "I burst into his office and said, 'I need to speak to you,' " explains Guzman, now 34, and a student at a college in Los Angeles studying psychology, who talks about many lost years when she couldn't function as a result. "One of the procedures if you want to speak to someone in the navy is you have to knock three times on the door and request permission to speak. But I didn't do that. I was too upset. So my supervisor said 'Drop', which means push-ups. So I did the push-ups. But I was still in tears. I said, 'I need to talk to you.' He said 'Drop' again. Every time I tried to say anything, he made me do push-ups. By the time I was composed in the way he wanted me to be, I couldn't say anything any more. I just couldn't." After that, Guzman didn't try to tell anyone for another eight years.

TL;DR version:




There's more where that came from.

_________________________________________________

I am seriously disgusted by this.


Posted 12/12/11 , edited 12/12/11
That's sad. I'm sorry that she went through this, and it's disgusting that some terrible acts like that get swept under the rug.
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Posted 12/12/11
Man i feel sorry for that lady. Those guys should go and die...have they ever tried empathizing? That is really low also of the higher ups to keep that under wraps, shows how corrupts the military is these days.
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Posted 12/12/11
It is terrible that it happened. This is why many think women should not be in the military. its a high stress work place. When i was in the army they passed all sorts of rules to separate men and women when they are off duty. where i was at women were not even around to be there. Its a sad thing to hear about. Soldiers are supposed to treat each other like brothers and sisters. The military will hide anything that makes them look bad. rape is not the only problem. All the higher ups just protect there own asses. I had a problem not as bad as hers and they tried to make it seem like it was my fault. I still think the military is a good thing. Army bases are bigger then most towns and have there own problems, but they have to keep a closer eye on all the things that happen.
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Posted 12/12/11

Donald26 wrote:

This is why many think women should not be in the military. its a high stress work place.


They raped men too.



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Posted 12/12/11 , edited 12/12/11
US military dumps soldiers' remains in landfill


http://rt.com/usa/news/military-dover-remains-landfill-395/
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19 / F / Earth
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Posted 12/12/11
Thats horrible...
If i become a commander-in-chief .. i'll bust-em up into pieces.. or become a president of the america... hahaha!!!
* keep on dreaming *
Posted 12/12/11
Human beings are horrible, they do horrible things, they hurt other human beings. This is true in the military, in the civilian world, and anywhere 2 humans are within arms reach of each other.
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Posted 12/12/11

mystic17 wrote:

That's sad. I'm sorry that she went through this, and it's disgusting that some terrible acts like that get swept under the rug.


The top 1%, Wall Street, corporate mainstream media, and the Rothschilds would rather not have you learn the truth about the American empire. It would hurt their agenda.

Another story that the NYTimes/Salon/AP/Routers/Yahoo/ABC/CNN/CBS/etc did not pick up until the Daily Show's Jon Stewart got vocal about it.

Senate approves indefinite detention and torture of Americans

http://rt.com/usa/news/detention-legislation-torture-senate-891/
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Posted 12/12/11
Honestly this could happen to anyone.. not only in the military like PlagueHat said.
and not only on the US..
it's human nature.. some just lose it.. become crazy.. whatever the cause we don't know..
but the victims.. sigh...
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24 / M / O.C. So.Cal
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Posted 12/12/11
really really fucked up. Karma is gonna fuck them in the ass soo hard
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Posted 12/12/11
Rape in the military is a problem everywhere. When I was in the army, the ladies' toilet and shower rooms had digital locks due to previous incidents. Though they weren't in use while I was serving. When you are out in the field for a very long time, your mind can get warped and jaded. Especially if you are in a place like Iraq, Afghanistan etc

I like to think that in Norway, we are good at keeping things in the open. There was recently an incident where a girl was forced to bathe naked in front of fellow male soldiers and officers. The officer who forced her to do it lost his position and is temporarily placed at a desk job till the case is fully investigated. Quite shameful, and the poor girl can't even look in the eyes of the officers who were present. Not sure, but I think she is out of the army now.

I think Norway only have three problems when it comes to the military.
1) Forced to join, at least if you are male. Women can volunteer. Should be volunteer for everyone.
2) Moronic usage of money. i.e. spend million on renovating a base, and then just close it
3) Treatment of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan, or elsewhere and ended up with some mental illness or such. It's like the government drops them like hot potatoes
Posted 12/12/11 , edited 12/12/11
The environs within most military structures are simply too conducive to the corruption of even normally upstanding people. The problem is with the system itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tWsg&t=7m18s

"Does it make a difference if warriors go to battle changing their appearance or not? Does it make a difference if they're anonymous, in how they treat their victims? We know in some cultures, they go to war, they don't change their appearance. In other cultures, they paint themselves like "Lord of the Flies." In some, they wear masks. In many, soldiers are anonymous in uniform. So this anthropologist, John Watson, found 23 cultures that had two bits of data. Do they change their appearance? 15. Do they kill, torture, mutilate? 13. If they don't change their appearance, only one of eight kills, tortures or mutilates. The key is in the red zone. If they change their appearance, 12 of 13 -- that's 90 percent -- kill, torture, mutilate. And that's the power of anonymity.

"So what are the seven social processes that grease the slippery slope of evil?

1) Mindlessly taking the first small step.
2) Dehumanization of others.
3) De-individuation of Self.
4) Diffusion of personal responsibility.
5) Blind obedience to authority.
6) Uncritical conformity to group norms.
7) Passive tolerance to evil through inaction or indifference.

"And it happens when you're in a new or unfamiliar situation. Your habitual response patterns don't work. Your personality and morality are disengaged. 'Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing more difficult than understanding him,' Dostoyevksy tells us. Understanding is not excusing. Psychology is not excuse-iology."

- Dr. Philip Zimbardo
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Posted 12/12/11
she said she fell 2 stories....I have a hard time believing until that point, maybe it happened but told it in a different way
Posted 12/12/11
That's just sad.
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