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

May-16-11

Slaughter Introduces Provisions Against Rape in the Military

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, introduced provisions to the National Defense Authorization to address the issue of sexual assault in the military late last week. If passed, the bill would create confidentiality policies for victims of sexual assault, increase trainings on sexual assault, and create an easier process for sexual assault victims and offenders to be relocated from their current base.

Representative Slaughter explained, "As America fights two wars, our women and men in battle can be worlds away and if they find themselves the victims of sexual assault, in theatre or at home, it must be recognized and the assailant must be brought to justice. Sadly this is almost never the reality. We have a duty to protect our men and women in uniform from the tragedy that is sexual assault in the military."

Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) and a former military Marine Corps Captain, clarified, "Provisions in this bill would protect services members who experience sexual assault by providing for confidential communications between victims and their advocates, expedited humanitarian transfers and reassignments so victims aren't forced to work alongside or even share living quarters with their rapists, and a hotline for service members to report rapes or suspected rapes."

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. Burke stated in Ms. magazine's Spring 2010 article by Natalie Wilson, "Culture of Rape," "You shouldn't have to be raped in order to sign up and serve your country."

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: Statement of Louise Slaughter 5/12/11; SWAN Statement 5/12/11; Ms. Magazine Spring 2010; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/15/11


© 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

9/30/2014 US Supreme Court Shuts Down First Week of Early Voting in Ohio - Less than 24 hours before the start of Ohio's would-be voting period, the Supreme Court blocked efforts to restore a full seven days of early voting in the state, marking a win for the Republican-controlled legislature that enacted the new voting restrictions. The Supreme Court's order offered no opinion or explanation, but Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer would have ruled differently. . . .
 
9/30/2014 Georgetown Alumni Call Out University for Not Allowing Reproductive Rights Protests - Over 200 Georgetown University alumni have sent a letter to university President John J. . . .
 
9/29/2014 Hope for Afghan Women as New President is Sworn In - Ashraf Ghani, who has publicly and consistently stated his support for women's rights and women's participation in government, was sworn in as the new President of Afghanistan today at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Over 1000 national and international guests attended the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the United Nations and 34 countries and a delegation from the United States. . . .