Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-12-11

Congresswoman Speier Condemns Rape in the Military

Following the Pentagon's March 17 release of its latest sexual assault statistics, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) delivered a speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives decrying rape in the military. Congresswoman Speier stated, "Read my lips, the military must end rape in this country. And those who commit such crimes must be brought to justice, the fact that women are being raped and our government is turning a blind eye is disturbing enough....We have a military culture that condones and sometimes rewards this kind of abusive and violent behavior against female soldiers, who are now more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed by enemy fire." Congresswoman Speier also vowed, "beginning today I'm going to tell these women's stories on the House floor, and I'm going to keep telling them and keep telling them until something is done about it."

The Pentagon's "Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military" indicated that approximately 3,000 women experienced sexual assaulted in fiscal year 2008, which is a 9 percent increase from the previous year. For women in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rate of sexual assaults increased by 25 percent.

In February, attorney Susan Burke filed a lawsuit in the Eastern Virginia federal court against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for failing to prevent, investigate, and prosecute the sexual assault and rape of the 17 plaintiffs. The plaintiffs in the case are veteran and active-duty service members from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Reserves who were sexually assaulted, raped, or harassed by active duty military members.

According to a 2003 study by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, at least one-third of all women veterans have experienced rape or sexual assault during their service, and thirty percent of military women experience domestic violence. Moreover, rape occurs in the military nearly twice as often as in the civilian world. Members of the US House of Representatives, including Susan Davis (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) have pressed the military to address sexualized violence, working on task forces and proposing legislation.


Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 2/15/11; Daily Kos 4/11/11; Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military 3/17/11


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/25/2014 Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Disabilities Treaty - By a vote of 12 to 6, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed to recommend ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the full US Senate. "One hundred forty six nations and the European Union have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but it will require American leadership to ensure the treaty's protections become a reality," said Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. . . .
 
7/25/2014 Women's Equality Party Launched in New York - In November, voters in New York may elect the first Women's Equality Party ticket. . . .
 
7/24/2014 Feminist Leaders and Activists Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment - This morning, Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) led a solid crowd of Equal Rights Amendment activists and supporters just beyond the steps of the U.S. . . .