(U.S. Army photo by Charles W. Gill)
“This is sickening,” said Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA) after hearing of yet another military sexual assault today.
Just weeks after Air Force officer, Jeff Krisinski was accused and arrested for sexual assault, an Army Sergeant First Class in Ft. Hood, Texas, is now accused of the same. Military rapes and sexual assault shot up to 26,000 last year in a study released by the Pentagon earlier this month. That means 70 crimes of sexual assault are occurring in the military everyday. Let’s go one step further. That means rape and sexual assaults are occurring at 2-3 per hour. This is happening in our military, where our soldiers are putting their lives on the line to protect our country. They should not have to worry about being raped and sexually violated by their superiors or other soldiers. This issue has gone to a ridiculous, as well as disheartening, place.
The most incredible part today’s story is that both, Air Force Officer Jeff Krisinski, and the Ft. Hood Sargent accused today, were both in charge of military sex crimes/prevention units. The very men who are supposed to be helping to prevent and protect victims of rape and sexual abuse, are the very people perpetrating the crimes against our soldiers in uniform, more notably – our women in uniform.
Senator Murray who has been involved introducing a new law to protect soldiers from sexual assault also said:
”It’s an astonishing reminder that the Pentagon has both a major problem on its hands and a tremendous amount of work to do to assure victims — who already only report a small fraction of sexual assaults — that they are changing the culture around these heinous crimes.”
Murray added, “Secretary Hagel needs to act swiftly to re-examine sexual assault services across the department to ensure that these disturbing betrayals of trust are ended,”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he was directing all the services to retrain, re-credential, and rescreen all sexual assault prevention and response personnel and military recruiters, his spokesman, George Little, said after Tuesday’s announcement that a sergeant first class at Fort Hood, Texas, was accused of pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates.
An Army statement said:
“To protect the integrity of the investigative process and the rights of all persons involved, no more information will be released at this time.”
I have a problem with that. Are they trying to protect the victim of the sexual assault, or the alleged perpetrator? It smacks to me of , “Well, just in case the sexually assaulted soldier has the/her story wrong, we need to protect the accused’s identity.
Thankfully, we have some very anguished female lawmakers, not only slamming the military for allowing this insane amount of sexual violations to occur, they are also busy creating and introducing new laws that will better protect our soldiers.
The most common questions are:
- How did this happen?
- How can the military not see an average of three rapes an hour?
- Who’s covering up these crimes, and how dare they violate the very people who put their lives on the line to protect our country?
Shame on the military, and shame on our government for turning their backs, all this time. Somewhere along the lines, these soldiers have been silenced. This is not a military problem. This is an American problem. And we need to take strong and immediate action.
Here is a the trailer video of ‘The Invisible War’, a film about violence against women in the military:
A worldwide campaign called, Unite Against Rape, has been launched by women’s rights group, UniteWomen.org. The purpose of the campaign is to support rape victims/survivors, as well as bring the discussion of our current rape culture into the forefront of media and public discussion. You can get more information them on their UniteWomen.org Facebook Page.
If you’ve been raped/sexually assaulted:
Please contact: RAINN National Rape, Abuse, & Incest - Call Their Phone Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE or Use their Online Hotline
(The author, Leslie Salzillo, is an activist, political commentator, diarist and visual artist. Salzillo often writes diaries in Daily Kos, and began contributing to AddictingInfo.org in March 2013).