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

February-21-03

Air Force Academy Probed for Mishandling Rape Charges

Following an investigative news piece by Denver’s 7NEWS last week, the Pentagon has launched an investigation of the Air Force Academy for allegedly punishing women cadets who reported sexual assaults by fellow students, according to the Washington Post. Victims of rape and sexual assault report that they were disciplined, ostracized by the Academy and their peers, particularly upperclassmen, and in some cases forced to leave. There have been 96 reports of sexual assault to the Academy’s rape hotline since 1996; only 20 cases have been formally investigated, eight cadets have been dismissed, and no cadets have been court-martialed for assault, according to the New York Times. Only about 16 percent of Air Force cadets are women.

“There is tremendous pressure on these cadets, men and women, not to break the silence. If you’re raped, the whole academy – the corps of cadets and the administration – wants you to keep it to yourself. They turn against you if you report a fellow cadet,” said Dorothy Mackey, a former Air Force captain who counsels military sexual assault victims though Survivors Take Action Against Abuse by Military Personnel (STAMP), according to the Post. After receiving a call from a former cadet who was allegedly raped at the Academy, Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) got involved, asking for an investigation of not only the Air Force Academy but all the service academies, according to the Times.

The Air Force Academy was previously investigated for pervasive problems of rape ten years ago, when the Academy created Cadets Advocating Sexual Integrity and Education (CASIE), a volunteer organization providing counseling and advice for victims of abuse or harassment, according to the Post. In addition, the Academy set up an “amnesty system” to encourage victims to report sexual assault without fear of being punished for lesser offenses, such as underage drinking, according to theAssociated Press. However, interview with the cadets by 7NEWS indicate that these minor offenses are at least sometimes used to discredit accusations of sexual assault or to coerce victims into remaining quiet about assaults. In fact, 7NEWS reports that some victims were punished for serious offenses such as sexual activity in cadet dorms and fraternization with upperclassmen, despite the fact that these women were coerced or physically forced to engage in these activities.

Media Resources: New York Times 2/20/03; NEWS7 2/12/03, 2/14/03; Associated Press 2/16/03; Washington Post 2/21/03


© 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

8/3/2015 The Senate is Voting on Planned Parenthood Funding Today - A Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood is expected to come to a vote today. Sponsored by Republican Senator Joni Ernst (IA), Senate Bill 1881 would prohibit all Federal funding of Planned Parenthood or "any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics." The Senate will need 60 votes to advance the bill, which is being proposed following the release of highly edited video footage by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). The CMP's misleading videos claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue. . . .
 
8/3/2015 Anti-Abortion Extremist Will Stand Trial for Threatening a Provider - A Kansas anti-abortion extremist will have to stand trial for threats made against a doctor planning to provide abortions, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. In a powerful decision for abortion providers being threatened by extremists, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals found in a 2-1 ruling that a jury - not a judge - should determine whether or not a 2011 letter Angel Dillard sent to Dr. . . .
 
7/31/2015 Mexican Court Sentences Five Men to 697 Years on Prison for Femicide - Last week, a Mexican court made a unanimous decision to convict five men of eleven femicides, or gender-driven killing. . . .