This petition randomly came up in my news feed on facebook the other day. I shared it with all of my facebook friends, so I figured I should share this with members of the Scarleteen community, too.
Too many men and women in the military are sexually assaulted by their fellow soldiers and far too many cases go unreported out of fear, or uninvestigated by officials. The PETITION: Demand Congress investigates sexual assaults at Lackland Air Force Base was started by the Protect Our Defenders Foundation in order to call the United States Congress to investigate these sexual assault cases. A letter written by military sexual assault survivor, Paula Coughlin-Puopolo, to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is at the top of the page in the link. There are 47 days left and counting, and the petition's gotten about 87% of the signatures that it needs to go to the US Congress. Help bring the number of signatures needed up to 100% for the military sexual assault survivors at Lackland Air Force Base!
Here's the Protect Our Defenders Foundation's message behind this petition (which is at the bottom of the page in the link): "The mission of our military is to protect the American way of life and our freedoms, yet this very mission is compromised by leadership that allows, perpetrates and condones sexual assault on the very members of our military.
The Department of Defense estimates that over 19,000 such incidents occurred in 2010 alone but that only 13.5% of sexual assaults are ever reported. Why? Because victims are often blamed, fear career ending retaliation, and are required to report their assault by fellow soldiers to a superior, not law enforcement or medical personnel.
Now, a new criminal scandal at Lackland Air Force Base has put one of America’s most disgraceful secrets back in the headlines. At least 31 female trainees at Lackland say they were raped or sexually assaulted by their instructors. Many did not come forward for years out of fear of retaliation from their superiors.
Gen. Rice, commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Lackland says that the misconduct is not limited to just Lackland and has ordered an investigation into “systemic issues” in the Air Force. The DOD reports that 1 in 4 young women who join the service will be raped or sexually assaulted and 1% of men. The VA estimates over half a million vets have experienced military sexual trauma.
The military has proven that it is unable or unwilling to Protect Our Defenders. Congress should open an investigation immediately and then put an end to the “systemic issues” of military rape and sexual assault by legislating fundamental reform.
Update: Apparently the amount of needed signatures has increased from 1,000 to 10,000. So now the number of signatures that have been contributed so far is around 8.8% of what's needed to send off the petition, and there's 46 days left and counting now.
Let's try our darndest to get enough signatures everybody! Spread the word about it if you can!
[ 07-18-2012, 04:04 AM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]
Posts: 301 | From: a galaxy far, far away... | Registered: Jun 2012
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I'm not USian, but I'm familiar with the discussion in various US feminist internet spaces about sexual assault in the US military and the complete structural failure of the US military to act in any useful way about the issue.
Whether a person is there for ideological "serving the country" reasons, or because it was the best way to get a job and/or an education, and no matter what any of us think of military in general, No-one should have to face a workplace environment that enables assaults by work-colleagues and/or superiors and then makes it impossible for assaulted people to get safety, support and necessary medical and/or psychological treatment. As far as I know, some other countries' militaries have a much better record, so the US military is inexcusably failing on this.
-------------------- The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not. Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011
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quote:Originally posted by Redskies: Whether a person is there for ideological "serving the country" reasons, or because it was the best way to get a job and/or an education, and no matter what any of us think of military in general, No-one should have to face a workplace environment that enables assaults by work-colleagues and/or superiors and then makes it impossible for assaulted people to get safety, support and necessary medical and/or psychological treatment.
^This, all the way.
I agree that the US has unfortunately been failing to address this issue and turning a blind eye to the horrible assaults that have happened to our soldiers.
Update: The number of needed signatures has changed to 3,000 now. There are 1,187 signatures so far and 46 days left.
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