I'm all for feminism and women being equal to men. But this IMO is a wrong move.
Majority of the war zones out there still have army's that use rape as a weapon.
(I obviously don't agree with those despicable tactics)
I can just imagine the future horror stories of women being captured on the front lines.
Not a problem. Women in the US military are already used to being raped... by their fellow soldiers.
Rape in the military: exposing the shocking truth
The groundbreaking film The Invisible War exposes the shocking level of sexual abuse against women in the US military...
Lifting the lid on the extent of the abuse is vital to tackling the problem of rape in the military, says Amy Ziering, producer of the film, which was directed and written by Kirby Dick. "There is a perfect storm of conditions to keep this secret," she says, speaking from Los Angeles. "There is no incentive to report rape, it is not treated as a priority in the military and the nature of the crime means that it is so implosively devastating that many women get the blame, or blame themselves."
The statistics revealed in The Invisible War, which won the audience award at this year's Sundance film festival, make shocking reading: a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire, over 20% of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving in the US army, of 3,192 sexual-assault reports in 2011 only 191 members of the military were convicted at courts martial.
Rape within the military has been exposed before – the Tailhook Association meetings in 1991, the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1996 and the Air Force Academy in 2003 – but it has rarely been done with such a devastating combination of first-person testimony, watertight research and high-level interviews.
Through the testimony of victims and their families the extent of that devastation is laid bare, as well as the failings of a system that sees a rape victim's commander decide whether to take action after a rape report.
Ariana Klay, who graduated with honours from the US Naval Academy and served in Iraq, describes her violent rape by a senior officer and her civilian boss. "He said that if I told anybody, that he was gonna have his friend Marv, from Indiana, kill me and throw me in a ditch, 'cause that's how they took care of things in Indiana," she tells the camera. When she reported the rape she was told to do "what a Marine officer should do, and that's to ignore it and move on," and she alleges the Marine Corps said she must have welcomed the assaults because she wore makeup and skirts – part of her regulation uniform.
"The thing that makes me the most angry," says Klay, "is not even the rape itself; it's the commanders that were complicit in covering up everything that happened."
The film shows Andrea Werner, who reported her rape to her army superiors, only to be charged with adultery, even though it was her assailant who was married; Lieutenant Elle Helmer, whose case against her commanding officer at the Marine barracks in Washington DC, was closed owing to "lack of evidence" before a new case was opened charging Helmer with conduct unbecoming of an officer and public intoxication.
Ziering was instrumental in getting the women to open up about their horrific experiences. She readily agrees that her gender invariably played a role: "I became very emotionally involved in the victims' stories, it was what drove me, and I wanted the film to have that heart and passion," she says.
Ziering finds the documentary world "more welcoming and equitable" for women than Hollywood. "There is absolutely no balance in the movie world. It is so bleak there are so few women directors, it's still very much an all boys club. It's just horrible," she says, though she notes the "big star" directors in documentaries still tend to be men.Dick and Ziering's film has already had a far-reaching impact: offers of financial donations and support for victims have been made after almost every screening and when US secretary of defense Leon Panetta watched the film earlier this year he ordered military commanders to hand over all sexual-assault investigations to a higher-ranking colonel, and announce the creation of a special victims unit in each branch of the armed forces.
Ziering reveals that some commanders are using the film as a training tool, showing it to new recruits. "My real hope is that in 10 years' time there is not another film made about this. We're going to keep the pressure on – this can't just be allowed to blow over."http://www.guardian....-shocking-truth
And as we have seen with the paramilitary RCMP women are forced to turn to the courts because such things are denied and covered up by commanders - it is the same in the US armed forces.
Lawsuit Says Military Is Rife With Sexual Abuse
By ASHLEY PARKER
WASHINGTON — A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses the Department of Defense of allowing a military culture that fails to prevent rape and sexual assault, and of mishandling cases that were brought to its attention, thus violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.
The suit — brought by 2 men and 15 women, both veterans and active-duty service members — specifically claims that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, “ran institutions in which perpetrators were promoted and where military personnel openly mocked and flouted the modest Congressionally mandated institutional reforms.”
It also says the two defense secretaries failed “to take reasonable steps to prevent plaintiffs from being repeatedly raped, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by federal military personnel.”
Myla Haider, a former Army sergeant and a plaintiff in the suit, said she was raped in 2002 while interning in Korea with the military’s Criminal Investigative Command. “It is an atmosphere of zero accountability in leadership, period,” she said an interview.
Ms. Haider, who appeared with other plaintiffs at a news conference earlier Tuesday at the National Press Club, said: “The policies that are put in place are extremely ineffectual. There was severe maltreatment in these cases, and there was no accountability whatsoever. And soldiers in general who make any type of complaint in the military are subject to retaliation and have no means of defending themselves.”
In the complaint, Ms. Haider said she did not report her rape because she “did not believe she would be able to obtain justice.” But she said she joined the suit because she wanted to “address the systematic punishment of soldiers who come forward with any type of complaint,” whether it involves sexual assault or post-traumatic stress disorder related to combat.
The plaintiffs’ stories in the complaint include accounts of a soldier stripping naked and dancing on a table during a break in a class on preventing sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, and the rape of a woman by two men who videotaped the assault and circulated it to the woman’s colleagues.
Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that “sexual assault is a wider societal problem” and that Mr. Gates was working to ensure that the military was “doing all it can to prevent and respond to it.”
“That means providing more money, personnel, training and expertise, including reaching out to other large institutions, such as universities, to learn best practices,” Mr. Morrell said. “This is now a command priority, but we clearly still have more work to do in order to ensure all of our service members are safe from abuse.”
Though the suit, which was filed in Federal District Court in Virginia, seeks monetary damages, those involved with the case said their goal was an overhaul of the military’s judicial system regarding rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“You should not have to be subjected to being raped or sexually assaulted because you volunteered to serve this nation,” said Susan L. Burke, the plaintiffs’ lead lawyer.
At the news conference Tuesday, Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain and executive director of the Service Women’s Action Network, called for a new system to improve accountability and provide other avenues for filing complaints.
“There are veterans who, after service, are literally reeling from post-traumatic stress” as a result of rape and sexual assault, she said in an interview. “It can be a lifelong process. We hear from veterans who are in their 50s and 60s who are still coping with the trauma of having been psychologically and physically tortured.”http://www.nytimes.c...itary.html?_r=0