United States women soldiers raped scandal

This video from the USA says about itself:

Former Indiana National Guard Recruiter, Eric Vetesy, 39, pleaded guilty to ten charges of sexual battery, official misconduct and corrupt business influence last week. He admitted to groping and forcing sexual acts on as many as seven high school girls he recruited in Hamilton County. In exchange for the plea, a rape charge was dropped.

From Associated Press:

8 Women File Lawsuit, Accuse Military Of Having ‘High Tolerance For Sexual Predators In Their Ranks’

By Eric Tucker


WASHINGTON — Eight current and former members of the U.S. military allege in a new federal lawsuit that they were raped, assaulted or harassed during their service and suffered retaliation when they reported it to their superiors.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, accuses the military of having a “high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks” and fostering a hostile environment that discourages victims of sexual assault from coming forward and punishes them when they do. The suit claims the Defense Department has failed to take aggressive steps to confront the problem despite public statements suggesting otherwise.

The eight women include an active-duty enlisted Marine and seven others who served in the Navy and Marine Corps. Seven women allege that a comrade raped or tried to sexually assault them, including in a commanding officer’s office after a pub crawl in Washington and inside a Naval Air Station barracks room in Florida. The eighth says she was harassed and threatened while deployed to Iraq, only to be told by a superior that “this happens all the time.”

“There (are) no circumstances under which women who are brave enough and patriotic enough to stand up and defend this nation should have to be subjected to being called `slut, whore, walking mattress,'” said Susan Burke, a lawyer representing the women. “This is the year 2012. This kind of conduct is not acceptable.”

The women say they’ve suffered depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder because of the assaults. One woman says she tried to commit suicide after being raped inside her home by a senior officer and his civilian friend.

The lawsuit names as defendants past and present military leaders, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his predecessors.

A similar lawsuit was filed last year in federal court in Virginia. But the case was dismissed after the government argued in part that the judiciary had to defer to military decisions on command and discipline. That decision is being appealed.

Klay, a former Marine Corps officer and plaintiff who says she was raped in August 2010, said the military avoids scrutiny for its handling of these accusations by projecting a warrior culture immune to questioning and because the public doesn’t want to believe these crimes and cover-ups are occurring among service members.

“A noble cause is a great vehicle for corruption because nobody wants to look and nobody is going to look,” Klay told the AP.

After serving in Iraq, Klay was recruited to Military Barracks Washington in the nation’s capital, where she says she was falsely accused of adultery, taunted as a “slut” and “whore” and told to “deal with it” by a superior. She said the situation became so uncomfortable that she requested a deployment to Afghanistan, but that request was denied because she was told she was too critical to the command.

Klay alleges she was raped inside her row house near the barracks on the morning of Aug. 28, 2010, by an officer who said he planned to humiliate her and by his civilian friend. She said she reported the rape and left the barracks, but endured retaliation and became so despondent that she attempted suicide.

Haytham Faraj, a lawyer for the officer, denied that any rape occurred and said that his client and Klay were instead involved in a consensual sexual relationship. His client was found not guilty of the sexual assault allegations after a court-martial and was convicted instead of the lesser offenses of adultery and indecent language.

Another plaintiff, Elle Helmer, who says she was told she obtained a public affairs position at the Marine Barracks because she was considered the “prettiest,” reported being sexually assaulted by a commanding officer following a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl in Washington’s Capitol Hill in 2006. She says she was discouraged from submitting to a rape kit and medical examination and was told she needed to toughen up. The lawsuit says the military initially refused to investigate, and Helmer says she found herself investigated for public intoxication and conduct unbecoming. She says left the military soon after.

“It took approximately 72 hours for the victim to become the accused in this example, and that was really the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition,” Helmer said.

“Are they saying we’re all lying? Are they saying it doesn’t happen? Hiding behind their rhetoric of zero tolerance is entirely cowardly and misleading and they know it,” Helmer said.

See also here.

Betrayal of Trust? Allegations of rape at West Point, Annapolis: here.

US Army Pioneer Says Male Superiors Mistreated Her Because She’s a Woman: here.

Military Has Not Solved Problem of Sexual Assault, Women Say: here.

Ending military rape: The crusade of “The Invisible War”: here.

“The Invisible War” is a groundbreaking investigation into the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military: here.

Britain: Join the call demanding immediate inquiry into Air Force’s shocking sex abuse scandal: here.

17 thoughts on “United States women soldiers raped scandal

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  5. Remember the Republican “War on Women,” featuring bills to restrict birth control, defund Planned Parenthood, and require transvaginal probes?

    House Republicans now want to block abortion access for soldiers who are raped overseas. Let’s tell them NO.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    Stop the House from blocking abortion access for raped soldiers.
    Click here to add your name to this petition to the House of Representatives:
    “Women serving in the military deserve the same health care protections as every other federal employee. Don’t block abortion access for raped soldiers in the final version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill.”
    Take action now!
    CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

    Stop the House from blocking abortion access for raped soldiers.

    Dear Friend,

    This is shocking, even for our U.S. Congress.

    If a female employee of the U.S. State Department is raped while serving abroad in Afghanistan, her federal health plan will pay for an abortion should she become pregnant. However if a woman serving abroad as a member of the U.S. military is raped, her military health plan will NOT provide for an abortion if she becomes pregnant as a result of that violent and reprehensible act.

    According to a recent report from Mother Jones,1 the Pentagon has an even more drastic policy on access to abortion than the Hyde Amendment which bans the use of federal funds for abortion care unless a woman has been the victim of rape, incest or she could literally die unless she her pregnancy is terminated.

    This disparity is so unsettling that the Senate Armed Services Committee recently passed a proposal that would fix this loophole in federal law on a rare bipartisan vote. But the extremists in Congress will almost certainly strip this proposal from the National Defense Authorization Act when it comes up for a vote in the House. The only way we can hope to stop it is with massive public pushback.

    Tell Republicans and anti-choice Democrats in the House: Don’t block abortion access for raped soldiers. Click here to sign the petition.

    According to Kate Sheppard’s report in Mother Jones,2 there are 200,000 women serving on active duty in our military and in 2011 alone there were 471 reported instances of rape. But with the Pentagon itself estimating that only 13.5% of rapes are officially reported, that means around 3,500 service members are raped per year.

    Women who are serving on military bases abroad can’t simply go to their local Planned Parenthood should they seek an abortion after finding themselves pregnant as a result of rape. And if there hasn’t been a formal finding of rape, a rape survivor in the military can’t even pay to have the procedure done in the medical facility on base. Many women serving in our armed forces are stationed in foreign countries where safe abortion care is not easily obtained outside our military bases. And it may not be possible or affordable for a raped woman soldier to travel to the United States in order to receive the care she needs. Our policies need to be reformed to ensure that women in the military who have been raped have access to the medical care they need.

    As Senator Jean Shaheen who introduced the proposal change to this heinous policy explained to Mother Jones, “Most of the women affected here are enlisted women who are making about $18,000 a year. They’re young, they don’t have access to a lot of resources. Many of them are overseas.”

    Tell Republicans and anti-choice Democrats in the House: Don’t block abortion access for raped soldiers. Click here to sign the petition

    A handful of Republicans in the Senate realized that protecting rape survivors is not a partisan issue and joined Democrats to pass this bill out of committee and work to provide relief to women in our armed services. But their colleagues in the House will not join them in helping to pass this much needed bill unless we force them to take action. We need to tell Republicans as well as anti-choice Democrats in the House (including the so-called Stupak Democrats who voted against women’s reproductive health in the Affordable Care Act)3 that we cannot let this policy stand.

    CREDO is a staunch supporter of a woman’s right to choose and we will continue to work for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment. But until then, even in our polarized Congress which is packed with anti-choice zealots, there are some lines that Republicans and anti-choice Democrats should be very afraid to cross. This is one of them. We cannot stand by and let women serving in the U.S. military be subjected to a stricter standard for abortion access than the already horribly restrictive Hyde Amendment.

    Click below to sign the petition:

    This is one we can win if enough of us speak out. Thank you for taking action.

    Becky Bond, Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    1. House GOP Blocking Abortion Access for Raped Soldiers, Mother Jones, June 13, 2012.
    2. ibid.
    3. Many Previously Pro-Choice Dems Voted for Stupak Amendment, FiveThirtyEight.com, November 9, 2009


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  9. Reported Sex Assaults At Military Academies Jump By 23 Percent

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR 12/19/12 10:36 PM ET EST AP

    WASHINGTON — Reported sexual assaults at the nation’s three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year, but the data signaled a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations.

    According to a report obtained by The Associated Press, the number of assaults rose from 65 in the 2011 academic year to 80 in 2012. However, nearly half the assaults involved victims who sought confidential medical or other care and did not trigger an investigation. There were 41 assaults reported in 2010.

    Reported sexual assaults have climbed steadily since the 2009 academic year. The Defense Department has urged the academies to take steps to encourage cadets and midshipmen at the Army, Navy and Air Force academies to report sexual harassment and assaults in order to get care to everyone and hold aggressors accountable. The number of assaults reported by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., increased, while reports at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., declined.

    In addition to the sexual assault report, the military also is releasing the results of its biannual anonymous survey of academy students, which showed that 12 percent of the women said they experienced “unwanted sexual contact” and 51 percent said they were sexually harassed. Of the men, 2 percent experienced unwanted contact and 10 percent said they were sexually harassed.

    Officials are concerned whenever the number of reported sexual assaults goes down while the anonymous survey suggests that unwanted sexual contact goes up or stays the same. That’s because military officials want victims to feel comfortable going to their superiors to report incidents.

    The report divides the assaults into two categories, restricted and unrestricted. Unrestricted reports rose slightly from 38 last year to 42 this year, and those are provided to either law enforcement or military commanders for an investigation. Restricted reports jumped from 27 last year to 38 this year, and in those cases victims sought medical care and advocacy services but did not seek an official investigation.

    According to the report, all three academies are now meeting department policies and requirements for training and the appointment of sexual assault response coordinators.

    The report is expected to be made public later this week.


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