Military Sexual Assault 

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Military still sacrificing women & men to sexual violence

By Diana Danis

Service: Women Who Serve Military Women’s Coalition –  Chair, Policy Committee Sexual Violence

There are only a handful of actual sexual harassment complaints each year across the U. S. military, while nearly 70 percent of women and six percent of men say they have suffered sexual harassment. Yet, the military has a Zero Tolerance Policy for all sex crimes.

Most of America’s youth are unfit for military service, which sucks. Fortunately, women are more likely to be eligible for service and to excel in a multitude of fields. They are also more likely to escape through the nearest opening when their contract expires.

Recruitment and retention, buffered by security concerns is a big deal and that means you have to do something drastic, something that makes the really toxic, hyper-masculine part of the culture twitch.

When few in the military take sexual assault and rape allegations seriously, what is it going to take to get victims to report sexual harassment? You go for the perps’ money, rank and future.

Get busted in the civilian world for hosting a hostile work environment and there are real – and severe consequences. The corporation and maybe a civil court get involved.

In the military, if anyone even says anything, your sergeant or lieutenant might threaten you, put you “on quarters,” make you paint something, or toss a letter in your file.

The Department of Defense should make Sexual harassment subject to judicial punishment. Offenders should potentially lose rank, privileges, and face imprisonment and less than honorable discharges. Bet that helps them purse their lips and keep their hands to themselves. The really good thing? This is actually being considered!

How about when we take recruits’ DNA when they enlist – (yeah, we do that) we cross-match it with the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Then we check out everyone already in the military. Bet we get some surprises.

No one should have to report to the buddies of the person messing with them about that behavior. Going to someone outside the military and not having to give your name until after the investigation is a good idea.

In the military, even if someone gets caught red-handed, charged, tried, and found guilty as hell of a sex crime, they don’t get put on the National Sex Offender’s Registry. That seems like a problem that it shouldn’t take much to fix.

How about properly investigating all those suspicious deaths in the military with sex crimes swirling around them so there is closure, vindication and proper resolution for the family?

These are reasonable concepts. What is unreasonable is allowing the U.S. military to treat sex crimes like a low level OSHA violation. #JusticeforVanessaGuillen

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