Opinion Brief

The U.S. military's 'rape epidemic'

Current and former soldiers are suing the Pentagon, accusing it of failing to prevent rape within the military. Will this public protest make women in uniform safer?

This week, 17 veterans and active-duty service members filed a landmark lawsuit accusing the Pentagon of looking the other way despite frequent reports of rape and other abuse against women in the armed forces. The suit singles out Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, accusing them of running an institution in which violence against women is tolerated. A Pentagon spokesman said "sexual assault is a wider societal problem" and the military is trying to prevent it, just as civilian leaders are. What might the lawsuit accomplish? (Watch an AP report about the lawsuit)

The lawsuit can only help: It's undeniable that "rape is badly handled by military authorities," says Julia Bodeeb at Gather. Maybe if our military leaders are publicly held accountable by this lawsuit, they will realize that rape must always be prosecuted, no matter how badly every conviction damages the armed forces' reputation.
"14 people raped while serving in the military sue the Pentagon for failure to prosecute rapists"

The Pentagon can't work miracles: Nobody expects the Pentagon to stamp out rape overnight, says Maya at Feministing. The misogynistic culture in the military is "deeply entrenched," and it will take time to change it. But the generals can take a huge step forward if they just "stop sweeping it under the rug."
"Service members sue Pentagon for ignoring military rapes"

This is about supporting our troops: It's important to understand that this isn't an anti-military lawsuit, says David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement. People who deny "rape exists" in the armed forces are the ones who are "not supporting our troops." When women and men put themselves at risk to serve their country, they deserve to know that their superiors and a grateful nation have got their backs.
"More on the sexual assault and rape lawsuit facing the Pentagon"

Recommended

Trump supporters got more than 100 fundraising emails since FBI search
Donald Trump.
more emails more money

Trump supporters got more than 100 fundraising emails since FBI search

Mike Pence tells Republicans 'attacks on the FBI must stop'
Mike Pence.
knock it off

Mike Pence tells Republicans 'attacks on the FBI must stop'

Walensky shares plan to reorganize CDC following COVID criticism
Rochelle Walensky.
moving parts

Walensky shares plan to reorganize CDC following COVID criticism

FDA approves over-the-counter hearing aids
Hearing aids
Hear this?

FDA approves over-the-counter hearing aids

Most Popular

Starbucks accuses labor board of unfairly helping pro-union workers
Starbucks
union blues

Starbucks accuses labor board of unfairly helping pro-union workers

The debate over the Catholicism 'trend'
rosary beads
Opinion

The debate over the Catholicism 'trend'

Senate Republican fund cuts ad spending in key battleground races
Mehmet Oz
2022 ad watch

Senate Republican fund cuts ad spending in key battleground races