Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Rape in the U.S. Military

NPR aired an informative piece on All Things Considered this afternoon. Apparently this problem is more prevalent than many people realize:

May 11, 2004 -- Prisoner abuse in Iraq isn't the only explosive issue before the Department of Defense. More than 100 women have returned from war duty in the Middle East and Afghanistan and reported being sexually assaulted by male soldiers.

Late last month, a task force completed a report on the military's response to the problem; the results have not been released yet. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told a Senate committee in February that the Army was addressing the issue "aggressively," adding: "It's a chain of command issue, it's a leadership issue, it's a discipline issue."

Despite the Pentagon's assertion that sexual violence has been cut in half in recent years, some female soldiers and rape counselors say the problem remains acute. In a Veterans Affairs survey published last year, three-fourths of the female respondents who said they were raped said they did not report the incident to a ranking officer.

Be sure to listen to the audio of the story. It will be available after 7:30pm EST.

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