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

November-15-12

Air Forces Releases Lackland Sex Abuse Investigation Results

The US Air Force released the results of an investigation into widespread sex abuse charges at the Lackland Air Force Base training facility in Texas this week. As of Wednesday, 23 training instructors have been investigated for alleged sexual assault of 48 victims. Of those who have been investigated, 11 instructors have faced criminal charges, 5 have been convicted on criminal charges, an additional 6 commanding officers also face internal disciplinary action, and 2 commanding officers have been relieved of duty. Most publicly, Air Force Staff Sergeant Luis Walker was found guilty of 28 rape and sexual assault charges by a military jury in July and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, was demoted to the lowest Air Force Rank, dishonorably discharged, forfeited pay, and is required to register as a sex offender. funny photos

The investigation, conducted by General Edward A. Rice Jr. of the Air Education and Training Command and Major General Margaret H. Woodward who is the Chief of Air Force Safety, concluded that there was a lack of accountability and leadership among military training instructors that lead to rampant abuses of power. According to the Wall Street Journal, some instructors would assign their victims to duties that would force them to be alone together, even going so far as to select their victims at the start of base training. At a press conference, Rice recounted Woodward's statement that the perpetrators "knew that they were violating a regulation or policy, and that was very clear to them . . .This report necessarily focuses on the few who violated a sacred trust and broke faith with fellow airmen everywhere." The report of also includes 46 recommendations to make commanders more accountable for their actions, including a more detailed selection process for trainers, requiring that 25% of trainers be women, and the establishment of a Military Training Oversight Council. funny pictures

Some members of Congress believe that congressional intervention is necessary if sexual assault in the military is to be stopped. Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA) sits on the House Armed Services Committee and told the Huffington Post, "These findings and recommendations are not far off from what we expected to see, given the defects in the system and in leadership that have become clear since the Lackland incident came to light. . .The horrific incidents at Lackland and the string of high-profile scandals of a sexual nature currently plaguing the military confirm a deep-rooted cultural failure." But General Rice firmly believes that the Pentagon and Air Force are equipped to make the changes themselves. Rice stated that the recommendations listed in the report are just the beginning of the necessary changes. "This isn't the end," he said, "This is an ongoing process."

Media Resources: American Forces Press Service 11/14/12; The Hill 11/14/12; Huffington Post 11/14/12; Wall Street Journal 11/14/12; Feminist Newswire 7/24/12


© 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

8/31/2015 Afghan Women Awarded for Women's Rights Advocacy - Ten Afghan women activists were awarded a prestigious prize and honor last week for their courageous fight for women's rights. . . .
 
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago. Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
 
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .