Invisible War: Rape Culture in the Armed Forces
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
By: John Cyril Malloy IV
PTS Falconer Contributor
December 7, 2018
In the military, only 147 accused rapists faced serious allegations out of the 2,039 accused in 2010: assailants in military positions seldom endure punishments for their crimes. In addition to the lack of consequences occurring after the rape and sexual assault are reported, often times investigators question victims for their actions during the incidents, resembling interrogation sessions for perpetrators. After such questioning, male and female militants are stripped of military honors, post-career benefits, and respect. As such, many victims prefer not to report rape and sexual assault incidents due to the overall failure of the system to honor victims. Data from 2010 shows that out of the 2,039 rape allegations, a whopping 781 victims did not opt to take action against their perpetrator.
In an effort to change the culture in the military, systems have been implemented in order to stop a rape, including buddy systems for females and other demeaning and ineffective methods. In response to the female military backlash, several supreme court hearings and countless state representatives have acknowledged the situation without result. Patriarchal institutions within the military bar women from the freedom to honorably serve the United States of America without disregard and disrespect that contributes to the continuation of sexual assault and rape. Armed with the weapon of rape, some male militants disallow women to participate in protecting the freedom that they have enjoyed through their youth and adult life. The sacrifice of one’s life for the greater American good should not come at the expense of rape and sexual assault that plague just over one-fifth of female militants.
Initially, women gained freedom by forcefully entering the workforce and then the government, and now the military - although gender roles and other means of prevention have existed. Though there are initial struggles that attempt to block women from entering positions in the military, historical evidence shows that facets of our society have pushed aside any traditional predispositions to grant social freedom to the female sex. To proudly serve the United States is the next frontier for the women's movement. Now, there lies another roadblock in the path of breaking out of confining roles that deny us access to lifestyles that each of us seeks to pursue.
This article is part of a Women's Studies series:
Article 1- The Abuse Cycle by John Cyril Malloy IV
Article 2- This one
Article 3- The Elephant in College by Casey McCarthy
Article 4- Ms. Massa's Women's Studies Class Should Be Required. Here's Why by Casey McCarthy