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 Message Boards » » Rape in the US military: USA's dirty little secret Page [1]  
0EPII1
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military

I guess one of those things the US sweeps under the carpet?

Makes for a horrifying reading. Seriously, should Iraq and Afghanistan Sweden and Denmark invade the US to liberate the oppressed women and punish the perpetrators who almost always go unpunished?

Just some of the sad facts:

Quote :
"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."


Quote :
"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.""


Quote :
"It is so well known that sex offenders go unpunished and victims penalised for reporting incidents, that most say nothing. Michelle Jones describes how she was still lying on the floor of her room in the barracks, her ripped shorts by her ankles, when her rapist stood over her and said, "I'll tell everyone you're a dyke and you'll get booted out if you report this."

She was two-thirds of her way through her service. "I didn't want to lose my job," says Jones, 39, who is now an IT consultant living in San Jose, California, and gay. Under the (now-repealed) US Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, openly gay people were barred from the military. Jones wasn't even sure she was gay at the time. But it wasn't worth the risk of reporting. "If I had spoken out, I would have been the one investigated," she says. "And it wouldn't have done any good anyway. I could tell you about 15 other women I know who had tried to report a rape and got nowhere.""


Quote :
"But the sheer statistics beg the question: why is rape in the American military so common in the first place? "We looked at the systems for reporting rape within the military of Israel, Australia, Britain and some Scandinavian countries, and found that, unlike the US, other countries take a rape investigation outside the purview of the military," explains Greg Jacob, policy director at the Service Women's Action Network. "In Britain, for example, the investigation is handed over to the civilian police.

"Rape is a universal problem – it happens everywhere. But in other military systems it is regarded as a criminal offence, while in the US military, in many cases, it's considered simply a breach of good conduct. Regularly, a sex offender in the US system goes unpunished, so it proliferates. In the US, the whole reporting procedure is handled – from the investigation to the trial, to the incarceration – in-house. That means the command has an overwhelming influence over what happens. If a commander decides a rape will not get prosecuted, it will not be. And in many respects, reporting a rape is to the commander's disadvantage, because any prosecution will result in extra administration and him losing a serviceman from his unit.""


Quote :
"But military rape is not only a women's issue. According to the Veterans Affairs Office, 37% of the sexual trauma cases reported last year were men. "Men are even more isolated than women following rape," Bhagwati says. "Because it has an even bigger social stigma.""




One of the most painful and angering things I have ever read in my life... can't believe America would do this to one of it's own. Seriously, it made me depressed for the whole day.

Quote :
"Rick Tringale is one of few men to speak about what happened to him. He was 18 years old and in his first few weeks of training, he says, when he woke up in his bunk in the middle of the night thinking that it was raining. Someone was urinating on him.

"As I came to consciousness, I realised that I was being held down with a blanket and then I was beaten." Tringale, 43, says his life changed for ever following a brutal gang rape, that led to him going AWOL from the army, and subsequently becoming homeless.

"Next thing I remember is being dragged down the hallway. There was a lot of blood, a lot of pain, I was crying and I remember trying to run away, but I was dragged to the latrine, and hit a whole lot more. I remember the white tiles splattered with blood and seeing familiar faces and they were all hitting me. More guys were crowding into the bathroom too, and they're yelling, 'Kill him, kill him, kill him.' "

Tringale believes he was either knocked unconscious or what happened next was too horrible for his memory to recall. All he remembers is waking up in his bunk the next day, with his platoon dormitory empty. He says his face was a mess, his nose broken, his whole body beaten and he had been raped. He made it to the emergency department, but in the middle of the examination by the doctor, who was initially sympathetic, the phone rang. "The doctor was talking to someone, and looking at me. Then, when he came off the phone, he said: 'You're a phoney, your company says you shouldn't be here, and you're fine.' He sent me away. I became a different person after that. Everybody in the squad platoon knew what had happened – there was no way anyone could have missed it."

Tringale completed his training, but he became known as the "crazy guy" because any part of his training that was dangerous, he would push himself to the limit, like holding on to hand grenades so long they were seconds from exploding in his hand. He tried killing himself three times. It was after the third attempt while stationed in Germany, after being talked down off the roof of a building, that he was sent to a civilian psychiatrist, whom he told about his experience. She diagnosed PTSD and recommended Tringale be sent home. But he was also seen by a military doctor, who told him, "If there's something wrong with your mind, you'll have to stay here in this locked ward."

"I looked around at this locked ward," says Tringale. "That was when I decided I had to get out. I went AWOL." For the past 25 years, Tringale has lived with the nightmares and trauma. Because he was not honourably discharged, he lost his paycheck, his pension, and he has not had the regular support of the programmes set up by the veterans affairs department for those suffering from PTSD. For a while he held a job on a paramedic ambulance, but like many veterans who suffer from PTSD, he was also homeless for many years. He neither drinks, nor takes drugs. Two years ago he married, and became a stepfather to three children. He has never shared his story with his wife. "Our society treats men differently when they have been raped," he says. "In society's eyes I am somehow less of a man because I have been raped, or I must be a latent homosexual. Rape is a very emasculating thing.""


In a just and fair country (such as the US?!), he should be able to sue the government and win millions for emotional trauma, plus all the back pay and pension. Dude deserves a medal.

Fuck the US Military for doing what they did to him.

Waiting for Sweden and Denmark to start their Eurofighters.


P.S. Videos of the victims in the article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military1
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military2


Another story:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2011/jul/21/rape-shame-us-military


MY DUTY TO SPEAK
http://mydutytospeak.com/
Every four hours a sexual assault or rape is reported in the United States Military. These are our stories.



[Edited on February 15, 2012 at 6:14 AM. Reason : ]

2/15/2012 6:02:46 AM

McDanger
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Keep in mind what you're doing with this thread. You're telling people who, presumably, don't know already.

Do you imagine they don't know because they plug their ears, or because they honestly don't know? These guys spend 4+ hours on the internet every day... do you honestly think the problem is they haven't been presented with this information before?

You're addressing people who don't think of them as dirty secrets, except for what liberals and the world think. The only thing "dirty" here to the people you're addressing is that ANYBODY knows. It should have been kept secret so that things are easier on the US, of course, who is always right, of course, bracketing the rape (which is really so minimal anyway; it's war, what do you expect!?!?).

Ultimately you're addressing people who can't, won't oppose this sort of action. They know it goes on. They might bite the bullet and admit there are a few "bad apples"; but no evidence you present will get these people to view the situation accurately, normally, humanely, because they are not accurate, normal, humane people. At best you're working against people who don't care; at worst, you're working against the ego of people who would rather be wrong, support the wrong (in secret, of course), so long as it "results in the right" (US on top).

A few Arabs fly a plane into a building? We should be suspicious of every Arab, harass Arabs, chase them back to their country.

Hundreds, thousands of US soldiers engage in rape and barbarism against civilians? Must be a few bad apples.

2/15/2012 7:44:30 AM

Dr Pepper
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....if you guys spent more time out in the world doing humanitarian work than you post on tww



the world would be a better place.....

2/15/2012 8:22:22 AM

y0willy0
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if you truly believe that mcdanger i recommend either seeing a shrink or leaving TWW altogether-

2/15/2012 8:40:34 AM

aaronburro
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I don't think McDouche even read anything you had to say, trap. Rape and barbarism against civilians? Can you even stay on topic? At least you kept your stupidity to one post

[Edited on February 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM. Reason : ]

2/15/2012 9:51:30 AM

lewisje
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well of course since military men tend to be more masculine they'll rape at a greater rate

2/15/2012 9:54:38 AM

Str8Foolish
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American women are sluts they're totally askin for it with those boots

2/15/2012 10:05:42 AM

theDuke866
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I have never heard of anything like this.

I know it happens, but I have never heard of a rape in the military (I mean aside from in a newspaper or something; a distant incident). The closest thing I can think of was in Afghanistan where a male Marine was cornered by a couple of Polish soldiers who tried to shower-rape him...he fought them off and got away.

2/15/2012 11:32:42 AM

RedGuard
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Out of curiosity, how does the rate of sexual crimes within the military compare to the civilian world? I'm certainly not trying to excuse such atrocious behavior, but it would be good to know what the scale of the problem is.

2/15/2012 1:04:52 PM

y0willy0
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Quote :
""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.""


[Edited on February 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM. Reason : -]

2/15/2012 1:47:18 PM

0EPII1
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Quote :
"I have never heard of anything like this.

I know it happens, but I have never heard of a rape in the military (I mean aside from in a newspaper or something; a distant incident). The closest thing I can think of was in Afghanistan where a male Marine was cornered by a couple of Polish soldiers who tried to shower-rape him...he fought them off and got away."


Goes to show that, it is indeed, America's dirty little secret.

Quote :
"Do you imagine they don't know because they plug their ears, or because they honestly don't know?"


See above.

As I said, the US government is wholly at fault here, willingly and knowingly, and all indications point to the fact that it wants to keep it that way. (read whole article in link to see what I mean)

USA #1.

BTW, I just heard of this small country where women are being horribly oppressed... 1 IN 3 WOMEN are sexual victims, and 1 IN 3 of all sexual victims are MEN. Furthermore, when the victims report the sexual crimes committed on them, their BOSSES (who happen to be government employees, actually LAW ENFORCERS) tell them to drop it, demonize them, and tell everybody they are lying and not to be believed. It is all hush hushed and kept a secret.

Should I write a letter to OBAMA informing him of this little country and it's dirty secret so he can attack it and liberate the women and men?

2/15/2012 2:46:16 PM

aaronburro
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that depends... does this country have a lot of oil?

2/15/2012 2:50:50 PM

RedGuard
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No, but they have nuclear weapons so that must count for something.

2/15/2012 4:29:40 PM

aaronburro
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well, fuck, they already got em. it's too late! better treat em with respect, then

2/15/2012 4:33:20 PM

AndyMac
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Oh man, I wish Sweden and Denmark would try to invade. That would be a comical spectacle there.

2/15/2012 5:28:54 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Give me a candidate who says he'll reform the UCMJ so that these people are prosecuted and hanged, and I'll vote for him twice.

But I'm not sure it's all that big a secret. This sort of story pops up in the news fairly regularly, but I don't think it clicks with most people that the problem is systemic and could be ameliorated by making some common-sense changes to the rules and channels for reporting incidents.

2/15/2012 5:43:04 PM

theDuke866
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like what?

there's already at least one person dedicated in every unit to be a victim advocate for any sort of sexual assault, even aside from the normal chain of command (for which one could request mast and go straight to the top if necessary), doctor, chaplain, etc who are also all charged with taking care of these issues. There is like a fucking quadruple or quintuple-redundant system in place to handle this.

there is also ongoing periodic training on this issue (i.e., don't do it, how to report it--privileged or unprivileged--if you're a victim, prevention, etc).

I mean, if there is a legitimate problem specific to the military, then sure, we need to do something else, but I agree--I'd like to see how this compares to overall rates...and I think there's more to this story that the links presented in the original post convey.

2/15/2012 6:13:56 PM

Steven
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Just had that training today.

2/15/2012 6:43:59 PM

aaronburro
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Quote :
"(for which one could request mast and go straight to the top if necessary)"

and what good does that do if, as the article above points out, the "top" doesn't give a fuck and doesn't want to deal with the paperwork? I realize this article is more than likely anecdotal, and some of the stories are a bit on the old side, but all of the stuff you mention is useless if the same attitude is held among those who are actually in a position to do something. I'm not saying that the battalion and company commanders don't give a fuck right now, but certainly at some point they didn't, as evidenced by the stories posted so far.

Quote :
"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"

If this is true, then less than five percent of allegations actually lead to a conviction, nevermind the fact that less than 1/6th are even prosecuted... I'd say that warrants some investigation to see, at a bare minimum, why so many people are reporting assaults that supposedly didn't happen.

2/15/2012 6:47:31 PM

GrumpyGOP
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Quote :
"I'd like to see how this compares to overall rates..."


The link in the OP was clear that it was at least double the rate in the civilian world.

Quote :
"like what?

there's already at least one person dedicated in every unit..."


I like all the failsafes you describe. It's what would make sense to me, but it doesn't seem to be working. The one saving grace it may have is if statistics were presented indicating that sexual assault rates in the military were dropping like a stone -- though I almost hope that isn't the case, or else rape would have to have been pretty much ubiquitous in the past.

In the long term, the most practical and effective means of deterrence would be to instill a culture wherein sexual assaulters were viewed as being so disgraceful that their own compatriots took it upon themselves to mete out justice. There's one case where I wouldn't mind commanders and authorities turning a blind eye...

---

Let me make another point: I'm pretty sure this problem will die down naturally as women and gays in the military are gradually taken to be natural parts of service. Enlightenment and progressivism do seep into the military, regardless of what smc would no doubt say. Even failing that, there has to be some growing fear of being the commander who gets the blame for permitting high-profile rapes. Either way, the rate will decrease. Just not fast enough. You all know me and my position, let's marry the high ideals of the pro-female generation to the pragmatism of our ancestors by setting up gallows in every military base. If you violate the basic tenets of honor -- hell, of human decency -- by assaulting someone, you take a long drop on a short rope.

2/16/2012 12:36:01 AM

Dr Pepper
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^hear, hear!

[Edited on February 16, 2012 at 8:04 AM. Reason : i like the way you talk, mmmmhmmmm]

2/16/2012 8:04:30 AM

Maverick
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Do we not understand the meaning of the word "secret"? If the US military were covering up sexual assaults, would it actually register a website http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/ ?

Would the Secretary of Defense mention to the press that there were 19,000 sexual assaults within the DoD last year if this were truly a cover-up? http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/18/10184222-panetta-could-be-19000-military-sex-assaults-each-year

Even Al Jazeera had this report over a year ago. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/2010/12/20101223113859171112.html

Coverup? Swept under the rug? Or are you just misinformed?

2/19/2012 4:29:35 AM

bbehe
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Mandatory SARC briefings
Like 3 base agencies that are designed to help victims with two different types of reporting
Statistics that are published every quarter I think (maybe every year)

It's not a secret, it's a problem the military is trying to address.

2/19/2012 12:38:24 PM

aaronburro
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and it's doing a shitty job if only 109 convictions are made out of 19000 proposed assaults

2/19/2012 1:47:21 PM

Maverick
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I'm curious as to how many sexual assaults were categorized as "restricted" reporting vs. "unrestricted" reporting.

How difficult is it to prosecute and convict sexual assault in the civilian sector?

2/19/2012 3:04:38 PM

Maverick
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I'm also questioning the Guardian's description of the US military's legal system. Wouldn't CID (or the equivelant) handle the investigation? And if it's brought to court-martial charges (which it generally is), isn't that handled by a panel of officers who don't know the soldier personally?

2/19/2012 3:18:14 PM

aaronburro
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Quote :
"And if it's brought to court-martial charges (which it generally is)"

despite the stat above showing that less than a 6th of the reported assaults were brought into "a court room".

2/19/2012 3:36:50 PM

bbehe
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I wonder how many cases that don't actually see a courtroom are handled with Art 15s or pretrial deals

2/19/2012 4:03:38 PM

LeonIsPro
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2/19/2012 10:37:36 PM

bbehe
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I witnessed only one rape/sexual crime incident (not the actual incident by the aftermath) while in. It went surprisingly quick, bought up charges, court martial, trial didn't last long. He lost rank to E-1 (was E-4), sentenced to a few months of jail, dishonorable discharge and permanent sex offender status. It was for attempted sexual assault.

2/19/2012 10:50:00 PM

theDuke866
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There is no way he got a dishonorable discharge. OTH or maybe BCD.

2/20/2012 2:20:01 AM

bbehe
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Yeah, sorry about that, it was a BCD

2/20/2012 8:22:51 AM

aaronburro
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Big Chicken Dinner, baby!

2/20/2012 12:11:40 PM

bbehe
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Bad Conduct Discharge, kills all his potential benefits for being a veteran (minus disability claims)

2/20/2012 12:52:38 PM

pdrankin
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blerg, my fiancee is an airforce dentist, this news scares me

2/24/2012 4:55:18 PM

theDuke866
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^^ and has to be disclosed like a civil criminal record.

2/24/2012 5:27:04 PM

0EPII1
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So, things haven't changed.

http://www.policymic.com/articles/46479/notice-anything-fishy-about-this-photo-of-the-senate-hearing-on-sexual-assault-in-the-military

Quote :
"This image, taken yesterday during the Senate Armed Services hearing on sexual assault in the military hearing shows a witness hearing with only one woman lost in a sea of eleven men. According to the National Journal, the committee refused to let any survivors of sexual assault speak. Yes, because women who have been through abuse coudn't possibly be useful on a panel about abuse. Better to let men (and only one woman) do all of the talking. Who knows what women will do if they are given the right to speak! Although the Senate Armed Services Committee is made up of six women (and twenty men ... ahem) the witness panel only featuring one woman's voice is frankly embarrassing."


And looks like things haven't changed. In the OP you will see that in 2010, there were 3,158 sexual assaults reported, and only 104 convictions.

Well, in 2012, there were almost 4,000 sexual assaults reported, and just 191 convictions.

And LOL (sadness, actually) at all men discussing an epidemic of women being sexually assaulted in the military. Reminds me of pictures from the Arab world showing members of the government discussing women's rights and laws pertaining to women, but it is all men discussing!

11/12/2013 11:08:18 PM

0EPII1
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P.S. McCain is a member of the panel, and guess what he tells women? Stay away from joining the military till the problem is solved!!! Sounds a lot like people in Arab and Asian countries telling women to stay at home to avoid sexual abuse! Second similarity with Arab/Asian countries!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/07/us/reports-of-military-sexual-assault-rise-sharply.html?src=recg

Quote :
"Each year the department reports the number of assault claims, which lag behind a separate survey on sexual assault taken every other year among 1.4 million active-duty service members. Last summer that survey found that about 26,000 men and women in the military were sexually assaulted in 2011, up from 19,000 in 2010."


So, this is the picture:

~25,000 assaults take place
~4,000 assaults reported
~500 assault cases prosecuted
~150 convictions

Year after year



So how come if 4,000 sexual assaults are reported, only 500 reach a courtroom? This is the fucking problem right here, the system is rigged from the get-go:

Quote :
"The defense bill that is set to come to the Senate floor this month includes various changes to the military justice system. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, is to offer an amendment that would take sexual assault cases outside the military chain of command and give military prosecutors, rather than accusers’ commanders, the power to decide which cases to try. Pentagon leaders are strongly opposed to Ms. Gillibrand’s amendment."
Quote :
"“There is no accountability,” she said during a news conference on Capitol Hill. “Because the trust that any justice will be served has been irreparably broken under the current system, where commanders hold all the cards over whether a case moves forward for prosecution.”"
Quote :
"There remains little support for Ms. Gillibrand’s bill within the Pentagon."


Oh and guess what other power the accusers' commanders have: The power to overturn the jury's verdicts.

This is such a terrible and anti-women system.

Imagine if a woman's work boss had the power to decide if her case of sexual assault at work reached the courts or not. And if he also has the power to overturn a guilty verdict!!!

That's exactly what it is. And even worse, there is little support among the women-hating lawmakers to remove those powers from the bosses.


[Edited on November 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM. Reason : ]

11/12/2013 11:52:56 PM

theDuke866
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I can tell you that the problem is not being ignored. In fact, I would describe it the focus on it as a "fixation", and maybe even a "witch-hunt" in a few facets (for example, if you are even accused of a sexual assault, you are blacklisted from federal employment even if you are later decisively cleared of any wrongdoing). The subject is discussed, training conducted, etc fucking constantly. It's been placed alongside DUI as something to wage an absolutely incessant campaign against (and I don't mean that to sound like we shouldn't be paying it attention; I'm saying that it is getting HUGE attention, seemingly to me beyond a point of diminishing returns). It certainly isn't a "secret".

Don't construe this as saying that there isn't a problem; there is certainly a problem. I do think, though, that the scope may not be any worse than the general civilian population, controlled for age (and maybe SES). My source for that is my own squadron's Uniformed Victim Advocate--who is an extremely liberal, extremely intelligent über-lesbian. She's looked into this more extensively than me and is more intimately involved and versed in it, but she actually makes the case that the military's rates are nominally worse, but that it is due a higher percentage of cases in the military being reported and dealt with. In other words, our own aggressive (relative to the rest of society) approach to fixing the problem actually artificially makes the numbers look worse.

(well not artificially, but you get what I'm saying)

11/13/2013 12:28:00 AM

0EPII1
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Quote :
"Maverick: Do we not understand the meaning of the word "secret"? If the US military were covering up sexual assaults, would it actually register a website http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/ ?"


I dare you all, especially Maverick to watch the video in the link below and keep a straight face throughout.

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/07/rape-in-the-ranks/

Quote :
"Rape in the Ranks

By DOROTHY J. SAMUELS

At a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday, two Marine veterans explained their support for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s bill to reform the way the military handles sexual assault cases. Instead of letting the accuser’s commander oversee the investigation and decide whether to bring charges, Ms. Gillibrand argues — sensibly — that such authority should rest outside the chain of command, with impartial military prosecutors.

Ariana Klay, who was raped in December, 2009 and treated terribly by the military justice system, and her husband, Ben Klay, summed up why the reform measure is so necessary.

Watch this clip of their statements. In the background you can see Ms. Gillibrand and Senator Rand Paul react to the moving testimony."




Of course, all the assaulters and their protectors are against this bill. Disgusting humans.

theDuke866, talk to me about the post directly above yours and also this one. Do you support the bill or not? And if not, why not?

Like I said, the system is rigged from he start, all that training you are talking about is useless if the accuser's commander has the power to decide if the case goes forward or not.

Watch the video first.

Her commanders said she deserved to be called a slut because she wore trainers and lipstick.

Seriously, is this the US or Afghanistan/Iran/Pakistan???


[Edited on November 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM. Reason : ]

11/13/2013 12:32:04 AM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"So how come if 4,000 sexual assaults are reported, only 500 reach a courtroom?"


I haven't really read the thread in great detail, let alone all the links...but off the top of my head, let me offer this:

The U.S. military doesn't operate under the same judicial system as the civilian population. I mean, we're subject to that, too, but there is also the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is somewhat less...protective of the accused, in favor of streamlining the process. One big thing is that you can be punished without a trial or any formal prosecution--the commanding officer can haul have you hauled into his office and serve as a 1-man judge, jury, and executioner (metaphorically). There are also some other punishments that would be unusual or unheard of in the civilian world: hard labor, or confinement and restriction to bread and water I've never personally known that one to be used, haha).

At any rate, the CO dropping the hammer on you is called Non-Judicial Punishment. You can refuse it and demand a trial, complete with jury and burdens of proof and stuff, but it ups the ante substantially in terms of potential punishment (and the JAG prosecutors, from what I've seen, tend to go for the jugular), so if you're going to refuse NJP, you had better have a pretty good idea that you will be found not guilty in the court-martial.

I have an idea that maybe a lot of those cases--probably the ones that would be difficult to prove guilt in trial, anyway, or the ones of lesser severity--are resolved by NJP. The punishment levied there might be something like a couple of months of 50% pay forfeiture and either restriction (think minimum security prison with work release, and probably extra work while at work), or hard labor (USMC used to literally have a pile of rocks and hammers, where they made little rocks out of big rocks, without all the anti-hazing restrictions on the drill instructors at boot camp), after which you'd be kicked out of the military with an Other Than Honorable discharge, which would probably mean losing all of your veteran's benefits, unemployment benefits, and it would look really bad when trying to get jobs in the future.


Quote :
" if the accuser's commander has the power to decide if the case goes forward or not.
"


I'll watch the video later, but I will also offer that I had a guy working for me who was court-martialed despite our commander not wanting it to go forward (it was for aggravated assault; it was in defense of someone else about to get sucker punched in the back of the head, but he hit a guy with a beer bottle, which they didn't really like).

Also, I'm no JAG--I'm just trying to offer the knowledge I can on the system...but I have to wonder why it wasn't prosecuted in civilian criminal court?

[Edited on November 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM. Reason : ]

[Edited on November 13, 2013 at 12:57 AM. Reason : i cannot even fathom any commander i've ever had saying something like what you bolded]

11/13/2013 12:53:07 AM

theDuke866
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Now that I think about it, it is up to a commander to send a case to court-martial, I think. I think in the case I mentioned, it was sent to CM by my commander's commander. In other words, the Lieutenant Colonel couldn't override the Colonel (or General...not sure which one was behind it).

I certainly don't think that sexual assault should be treated any differently from other crimes, if that's what they're advocating. That's absurd. The system should be applied evenly to all infractions of the law and breaches of conduct.

11/13/2013 1:03:19 AM

theDuke866
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I'm not saying that we should just say "What? Everything's fine."

I'm just saying that:

1. It isn't being swept under the rug--it is receiving massive attention, to the point that I believe that it's actually inflating DoD's numbers relative to the civilian world (by "inflating", I mean "less underreporting).

2. Let's approach this intelligently, rather than reactionary flailing, witch-hunting, and saying "Well we have to do something." We did that after Tailhook '91, and there's lasting damage to this day.


We need to continue to aggressively work against this, but let's not lose our heads, and let's make sure that when the story is told, that it's accurate and apples-to-apples.

11/13/2013 1:12:08 AM

Shrike
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Something like rape shouldn't even be subject to military justice or whatever it's called. No more than murder or any other heinous crime. The victim should be able to go straight to the civilian courts and the accused should be tried as any other rapist would, with the same exact penalties. Of course, the problems with rape prosecution are well documented, and this problem won't be fixed in the military until it's fixed for the greater population first. To a certain degree, I agree with theDuke866 that the actual numbers only look superficially worse than what exists on the average college campus.

11/13/2013 12:02:27 PM

Kurtis636
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I'm no expert, but I suspect that most people would prefer to go to civilian court than a court martial. The bar for conviction is a lot lower there than in civilian court.

11/13/2013 12:09:31 PM

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