The Crusader Newspaper Group

What about justice for sexual violence in the military

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Diana Danis

By Diana Danis, Advocate/Activist; Lead Administrator Service/Women Who Serve Military Women’s Coalition Sexual Violence Committee Chair

If a young woman asked me about joining the military today, especially, a woman of color, I would tell her to run in the opposite direction.

As a Patriot, I would tell them to chill a bit…until Congress pulls its collective head out of its ass, and does something drastic to fix its broken, toxic, dangerous and under supervised Chain of Command.

The #Justice for Vanessa (Guillen) hashtag is for everyone these reprobates have failed for decades while proclaiming zero tolerance. It includes young women like LaVena Johnson murdered in a war zone in 2005 and listed as suicide.

We understand there is a possibility when we loan you our child to defend the nation – they might die in combat or be horribly injured. We are wounded to our core by these losses and we can still embrace that tragedy by honoring them AND their service and country. BUT, if you flat out kill them, we are coming for you.

How are we supposed to reconcile these deep wounds that penetrate our souls when the country allows them to be murdered? As you are reading this, some awful command somewhere is letting America’s youth be ridiculed, sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, raped and maybe left for dead or murdered.

They are tolerating racism and white supremacists in their ranks. They refuse to make the changes to how reporting, investigating, charges, trials and sentencing are accomplished.

Here’s some harsh detail: less than 3 percent of the tiny number of people charged for sexual assault and rape ever see the inside of a jail cell. If I’m a criminal living in the military, those odds are a free pass for me to rape, plunder and pillage with little or no consequence.

When Vanessa’s brave mom forcefully demanded Ft. Hood be closed, a lot of folks said it was unreasonable. Except many military installations have been closed or reconfigured in the last four decades. DOZENS.

This toxic post in central Texas between Austin and Waco is where soldiers regularly vanish. Some are found dead – most declared AWOL and few even get the benefit of a search party. A lost rifle is treated with greater intensity and respect.

The hubris of command leadership is reflected in the proclamation that too much change would impact “good order and discipline.” They also insist the addition of special aid units across DOD: are influencing culture change, while sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape rates soar.

I do support the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) that Congress keeps trashing. However, I actually think removing ALL reporting, trials – all of it – completely out of the military makes more sense. These apologetic bastards in the Department of Defense are absolutely untrustworthy, irresponsible and unrepentant.

How about cross-matching the DNA testing done at enlistment against the National CODIS system run by civilian law enforcement? Track these criminals down and keep them out of the military and crossmatch everyone already in, as well as contractors. I’ll bet we catch a bunch of predators and criminals. Do that and DOD can start enlisting our women again. In the meantime, join the family and a bunch of vets, as well as supporters to march on Washington, DC July 30th.

Diana D. Danis © July 2020

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