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War on Women in The United States Armed Forces

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Because I smile and laugh, why should it entice your jealously to evoke pain.
A violent perpetrator to say the least, unable to control you habits, what a shame!
I call you a beast. What right do you have to brutally rape me?
I serve, we serve this country.
Should I call for help, I risk being investigated…
Should I run away, I am considered AWOL and the after math is more devastating.

Property of Uncle Sam, but he doesn't hear the cry’s of a woman!
So I stand alone with tears, frequently shivering from military peers.
Where can I go?
How do I live from here?

In 1991 Journalist Amy Herdy wrote an article called “Betrayal in the Ranks”, she summed up a figure around 200,000 women in the U.S. Military were sexually assaulted. That was in 1991. Over 20 percent of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving in US divisions of armed forces. 80 percent of cases are never reported.

Up until 2012, the U.S. Armed Services mandated a rank system to report incidents. A known hurtle, the women violently attacked were to make the compliant with their “Commander in Chief” because they were next in superior rank. Unfortunately, 25 percent of known perpetrators are the commanders themselves. Many commanders had no formal training on law, prosecution, and lacked compassion for rape victims. Studies conclude The United Armed Services has two times the amount of known sex offenders actively in service than that of the civilian population. Each one is known to be obsessive and repetitive, many averaging an unimaginable capability of 300 victims in their life time. Yet, women are being blamed for being raped and their cases are repeatedly closed. Of the estimated 4,500 cases reported less than five percent or 200 end in convictions. Additionally, not one case out of 2,500 has been reviewed by the Inspector General in 2011. This same year the court dismissed a class action survivor rape case against the US Military. The court determined “rape as an occupational hazard of working for the military”.

Victims are deprived of the right to due process because they are denied the right to move to a safe quarters away from their attacker! Even worse, some have to take orders from their offender and are forced to complete assignments that require that them to be alone with the perpetrator. The bottom line is that women's human rights are not honored.

The devastation does not stop there, once a case is reported the trend has been to close it and then open a new investigation on the victim. The investigation has a history of charging women with adultery and wrong doing. Their career is destroyed in an instant if they speak up. Even as veteran’s long after the trauma occurred, injuries sustained in the rape are not covered under the medical health benefits given by the government.

The United States Government is fully aware of the issues women face but they are consciously not holding anyone accountable. These women entered in to the US Armed Services to protect a country that is considered a free land. The injustice that they have and continue to face contradicts the values and beliefs that the United States is built from. Studies show that the long term effects on their soul/psyche are damaged, hurt, and changed forever. These women are mothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts. These women warn against from serving in the US Armed Services. This is a sad day because we cannot cease our efforts because we have to fight harder to be heard. It is a step back unless we stand together as women. We must get our political representatives to hold all divisions of the US Armed Services and perpetrators accountable.

For more information
Watch the documentary- The Invisible War

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Comments

Thumbs up (y) ! Women should be given more chances ,more value, much respect a Woman today is working hard to protect her country to help into its construction and goes with its devolpment while this One is not PROTECTING her!! sad truth
Greetings from Morocco
Yours, Kholoud ELBOUAZZAOUI

Yes,

It is sad she is not honored but hurt.

Thank you for the comment!

Best

Rochelle

Phionah Musumba's picture

Shame on you, America!

In Africa, we call you Big Brother. We've always believed you to be our best bet if push ever came to shove in all spheres of our lives. This includes in cases of war, political asylum, our rights as human beings, and advancement in life, among many others. Where do we run to, Big Brother, America, if you can't protect your own? Am so disillusioned in you!

Phy
Centre for Disadvantaged Girls, Kenya
www.galsissues.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/MalkiaCDG

If this is how the US treats it's own, there is a scary future ahead of us. Men and women a like.

I will be looking for progress.

I am thankful for the people who created the documentary to provide insight. If they didn't most of these women's voices would not be herd.
We have to wonder the message it sends out to the rest of the world. Your perception is accurate.

Best

Rochelle

Abisinuola's picture

Thank for bringing this to light

I believe America to be a country distinguished by the fact that each citizen is allowed freedom:of expression,choice,and so on.
Why are these valiant women's freedom and right to dignity being eroded?
This must be addressed at once!
We say NO to any form of violence and abuse to women,whoever they are and wherever they work!

Abisinuola

Rochelle White's picture

Agreed

Yes they should be addressed immeaditly, but the congressmen and women know about it and are not putting their best efforts forward to stop it:(

The sad part is women and telling other women not to serve, I feel like in some ways it is agreed by congress through remaining powerless that they are against women serving in enviorments that allow her to bring out her best. Instead, through fear and victimizing women they are pushing her out of the service. If it was not so, then there would be a protective structure in place that prosecutes offenders to the fullest extent..

Best

Rochelle

Abisinuola's picture

fear

I believe fear is what makes these women tell others not to serve,out of compassion though...nevertheless,they will be at the fore front canvassing for more women to join the army if they see perpetrators of such criminal acts being brought to justice!

Abisinuola

binapatel33's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story. I cannot believe that such behavior continues to exist in our military and is being covered up. Perhaps more women need to speak up against such behavior especially if the US is being seen as a world superpower. I am proud of you for speaking up and sharing your story. I am very sorry that it happened to you but everyone who does bad will be brought to justice.

Kind Regards,
Bina Patel
hc Mediate, LLC
www.hcmediate.com

Rochelle White's picture

This is a subject I wrote on

It is not about my personal experience in the military. I found the view point from a documentary and research. The documentary is called The Invisiable War.

Thank you though for your condolences for the women in the armed services.

Best

Rochelle

The Military is really a different world of its own. because of their slogan of obeying the last command, subordinates can not really do any thing to their superiors and since these commanders are the perpetrators, who will then admonish them. We can only rise and start to make our case known to the policy / decision makers to enshrine it in their code of conduct. Somebody somewhere can help out on this.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative
Lets keep the light shining

Rochelle White's picture

Yes

Yes,

That is what makes it so scary. The women affected by the violence and sexual assults can not even escape. Some contemplate suicide. If they try to run it is considerd dishonorable (awol).

It is the decision makers as you said that are responsible for their ability to be safe.

Best

Rochelle

ansupokharel's picture

Inspiring

dear,
problem is worldwide..in every nook and corner and only thing we can is UNITE!

Anisha Pokharel

Rochelle White's picture

Agreed

The problem is world wide and it is a scary thought that one of the supposed free lands on earth does not consider better efforts to protect the people who serve their country. What does that say about the men who partake in this behavior when they are present in other countries among beautiful women of that land. I am scared to say that rapist supply protection for the better likes of my country or others.. Demostrating this behavior against women sends out a clear message that violence on women is tolerated, making places where women's rights are far more violated then the U.S. a terrible brending ground for tolerance in area's where non should exist.

Yes, we must come together and unite. What is accepted in one part of the world can become the standards for all.

Peace, Love, and Tons of Hugs and Kisses

Best

Rochelle

CHINYERE MMA OKOH's picture

abuse of power

This is ultimate abuse of power. Now is the time for the society know that women have worth far greater than they can ever realize.
Though it will take time, we will get there.
Thank you.

Rochelle White's picture

Agreed

Very much so.. Look down to the response to the next comment..

Best

Rochelle

Monica09's picture

Enlightening post

Dear Rochelle White,

Thank you for creating awareness about this issue.

At a UNFPA conference that I attended in Bali, Indonesia, an American lady said, “Although America is promoting sexuality through Hollywood, gender disparity still exists. While men are considered masculine for having a sexual life, women are labeled as immoral for doing the same.” In that room, everyone, from Palestine to Nigeria to Pakistan, nodded in agreement.

It's deplorable to see America, a country noted for its democracy, not being able to protect its women in the Armed Forces. Like Rebecca Solnit pointed out: no one declares a war on this particular terror (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201327114230765738.html).

Rochelle White's picture

Double Standard

Monica,

It is defiantly a double standard and it amazes me that the governments throughout the world allow men to get away with raping others. You are connect in mentioning that when women have a sexual life they are labeled immoral.. What is additionally sad is that professional and business women make 30 percent less then a man does many times. When thinking about the reason's why, women are held in a different 'sensual' light when they rub shoulders with men, making them appear to be immoral. You see it all the time, men in suits and ties sit together, rarely is their a woman at their table.

Happy hour will have her looked down upon like she is having an affair, and in board rooms she may be considered to have a "too friendly" personality. Plus, there are perverts out there that will not give a woman a chance unless they feel she is willing to give up a piece of herself sexually. Some of these men know that if a woman was paid equally she could very well compete, be independent, and grow her own wealth. It is only when she is at the head of a company or the owner does she command respect from her male counterparts, even then she gets labeled a "b*tch" for being a leader.

Imagine
30 percent less of 100,000 for example. In corporate America it is attainable by some. That is 70,000 for a woman's salary vs 100,000 for a man's. Over the period of 10 years that amounts to 300,000 less than a man. Think about interest over the course of 10 years now you are talking about wealth being lost. Say 120,000 lost due to the value of money decreasing (time value/inflation) and loss of interest. Women on average reinvest 90 percent of their money back into their families and communities compared to men's average of 40 percent and women do at least 80 percent of the shopping while men save.

The wage in reality for many American's is around 34,000 for women and 46,000 for men. That gap is the difference between a person being self sufficient, sending their kids to college without student loans, starting a business, or investing in other people's projects throughout the world.

When a woman can not get ahead she is left to care for her family regardless of income. Rape, Unequal Pay, Demoralizing Women because of her sex life are all tactics used to control her, break her will, and keep her in a place where she is just keeping her head above water.

There is a bigger picture here. If the crimes against women are to stop, the governments, people, and men have to also be on board. If they are not on board it is up to us as women to come together in efforts to demand our rights. If the governments wanted to protect the women in the Armed Forces then they would do it, but they do not because they do not see it as a issue, maybe they are a little shaken up that she will be empowered and liberated.

Best

Rochelle

Jennifer Brier's picture

Thank you

Rochelle-
Thank you for writing such a compassionate piece about this issue. I am a former United States Marine and served for ten years. During my service I experienced MST (Military Sexual Trauma). My journey in healing from these experiences is in large part what led me to participate in this community. Next week I will joining many other sisters (and brothers) at Truth And Justice: Summit on Military Sexual Violence in Washington, DC to advocate for cultural change. Progress has been made, but there is still much to do!

I look forward to reading more from you. Semper Fi!

In partnership,

Jennifer

Jennifer

"I am a woman, that's my weapon!" ~Catherine Robbins

Rochelle White's picture

Thank you!

Jennifer,

I am thankful you are actively participating in the summit! I am sorry that you experienced the tramua, thank you for having courage to share. You are right, alot has to be done.. and it does happen to men too, making the situation just as tramatizing for both sexes. Until I watched the invisable war, I was oblivious to the crimes committed against many women and some men in my own country. If America is allowing this type of wrong doings to happen today and even bringing charges of adultry against the victims for speaking out, then we our society is truely in trouble and has not grown beyond the primative state it once was during slavery, and before women's rights movements. It indicates that we are not equal. All our thoughts about fighting for equality are real, fighting for the freedom to fight for our country without the fret of being raped or hurt is real, and fighting for women worldwide, because I am scared that if our soliders do that to our women, what pray tell do they do to women in other countries. I hate to imagine the terror that has reigned on them.

Please hold your head up high at the summit.

I thank God for you and the others who are standing up for change!

Best

Rochelle

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