What if one wishes to be both pro-victim and also pro-military? Expands upon the dilemma of divided loyalties and the need for objectivity when examining claims of victimization, as discussed on p. 10 of Ch. 1.
ABOUT VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WHO ARE SERVING IN THE U.S. ARMED FORCES
New Pentagon Report
The problem of sexual assaults committed by servicemen against women who have enlisted in a branch of military service is examined in detail in this latest report from the Pentagon. Read it here.
How Prevalent Are Sexual Assaults in the Military Services?
Some recent estimates about the prevalence and incidence of sexual assaults in the military are questioned by top officials.
Pentagon: 52 Rapes Per Day Claim ‘Inaccurate’ (politic365.com)
Sexual Assaults Of Women In The Military Raise Risks Of Homelessness Back Home
Psychologists have coined the term “Military Sexual Trauma” (MST) to refer to the type of stress disorder that can haunt female veterans returning to civilian life. Read about several victims’ difficulties here.
A Young Recruit Describes How She Was Raped By Her Training Instructor
The 19 year-old was at an air force base in Texas for just 5 weeks when the man entrusted to protect her life during basic training instead took advantage of his power over her. Read her account of the rape here.
A Rape Victim Who Did Not Report What Happened To Her Now Says The Military Justice System Is “Broken”
After she became an agent in the Criminal Investigation Division, she was asked to look into the case of a serial rapist: the soldier who sexually assaulted her. Hear her story in an interview here.
Spotlight On The Problem At An Air Force Base In Texas
At a 2013 hearing about sexual assaults of women at Lackland Air Force base in Texas by higher ranking officers, the reluctance of the victims to report offenses by their superiors was cited as a major part of the problem, along with the persistence of a climate of exploitation. Read the article.
An Experiment To Counter Fear of Reprisals Is Underway At An Air Force Base in Texas
To encourage victims to come forward and press charges, the Air Force is conducting an experiment: supplying victim advocates for those who report offenses and cooperate with the prosecution. Read the article here
The Senate Armed Services Committee Will Hold Hearings On The Persistent Problem of Sexual Assaults
Victims will be called to testify about their plight and their suggestions for reform. A similar probe was carried out in 1997. Read about the upcoming hearings here.
Sexual Assaults Against Female Members Of The Armed Forces Is An Old Problem:
To provide a little historical context, note that this problem has been festering for decades. This 1992 newspaper article describes a hearing that was held around the time of the first Gulf War and cites a study carried out in 1998 by the Pentagon.
Native American Women on “Indian Reservations” Often Suffer Rapes But Rarely Get “Justice”
High rates of violence and sexual assaults take place on poverty-stricken reservations, and low rates of arrests and convictions plague the tribal justice system, according to this newspaper article and this one as well. The jurisdictional problems that leave native women unprotected from non-Indian assailants are explained here.
ABOUT THE BACKLOG IN THE TESTING OF RAPE KITSProvides new data about the problem of unanalyzed evidence raised on p. 320 in Ch. 10
Big Backlog In Texas
About 20,000 untested rape kits containing samples of clothing, hair, and skin sit on the shelves of police department storage areas all across the state of Texas. The problem is that there is insufficient funding to carry out the forensic analysis of this evidence collected directly from victims in the aftermath of sexual assaults. Read the article here.
Adding Insult To Injury
Some victims (if they aren’t covered by health insurance) still have to pay for the evidence to be processed, according to this N.Y. Times columnist.
This op-ed from 2009 condemned the low priority given to the testing of forensic evidence gathered by police departments and prosecutor’s offices. Compare it to the op-ed by the same N.Y. Times columnist in 2012 above to see if any progress has taken place.
- Bill to End Rape Kit Backlog Introduced in Congress (abcnews.go.com)
- Poe, Cornyn push bipartisan bills to speed up testing of rape kits (chron.com)
- Nicholas D. Kristof: Focus on real rape scandal (omaha.com)
- Woman recants sexual assault claim (ktvb.com)
- CA Police Allegedly Covered Up Serial Rape At Facilities For The Disabled (thinkprogress.org)
DATE RAPE ON CAMPUSProvides more insights into the difficulties of effectively handling sexual assaults among college students discussed on p. 344 in Ch. 11
A case that polarized a college campus – in which an undergraduate accused an athlete of date rape – leads to an acquittal in court. Read about the trial – in which the jury decided the act was consensual – here. And then read more details about the incident and the climate of sexual conflict on the campus here.
Do college administrations seek to cover-up sexual assaults that take place on campus? See the views of several survivors of sex crimes here.
An examination of the problem of “pro-rape sentiments” on campus appeared in a campus newspaper. Read it here, and then read an analysis here and the administration’s response here.
A NUMBER OF POLITICAL FIGURES WEIGH IN ON THE SUBJECT OF WHETHER A RAPE VICTIM CAN GET PREGNANT AND WHETHER SHE SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO GET AN ABORTIONExpands upon a dilemma for those who are both “pro-victim” and “pro-life” raised on p. 10 in Ch. 1
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was interviewed in 2012 about his strong anti-abortion views. He explains that he would advise his daughter, if she was raped, to bear the child.
Republican candidate Todd Aiken claimed that pregnancies did not result from “legitimate rapes” and created a firestorm of controversy. Although he was under pressure to withdraw from the contest, he stayed in the race but was defeated by his Democratic opponent. See a news video:
President Obama criticized the notion of considering only certain sexual assaults to be “legitimate rapes” right before the 2012 election. See the video clip of his remarks:
A television talk show host who survived a sexual assault speaks out about this issue here.
But a woman who discovered that she was conceived out of a rape argues against abortion and in favor of the candidate (who lost the election). View the political ad here.
How Often Do Rape Victims Get Pregnant?
A professor cites studies that show victims of completed rapes are more likely – not less likely – to become pregnant as compared to girls and women who engage in consensual sex. Read the surprising findings and view the underlying research reports here.
A 1996 scientific study from a medical journal estimates an annual toll of 32,000, yielding a pregnancy rate of 5% resulting from all kinds of rapes of girls and women aged 12 to 45. View the abstract here. Read more about the medical evidence and debate here.
NEW REPORT SUGGESTS HOW POLICE DEPARTMENTS CAN IMPROVE THEIR HANDLING OF SEXUAL ASSAULTSAddresses issues about unfounded accusations raised on p. 311 in Ch. 10; and about campus rapes on pp. 345-346 in Ch. 11.
This study by the Police Executive Research Foundation (PERF) delves into a number of subjects, including handling what might be false allegations by a person pretending to be a victim; investigating rapes that take place on campuses; and the protocols adopted by several departments around the country. Read various chapters of the PERF report here.
CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS THE HANDLING OF A RAPE OF AN INTOXICATED GIRL COMMITTED BY HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES IN A SMALL TOWNAddresses victim-blaming and victim-defending arguments raised on pp. 295-303 in Ch. 10; also, cases involving alcohol, analyzed on pp. 343-344 in Ch. 11.
Incriminating information about the rape in Ohio of an unconscious underage girl was posted by the perpetrators themselves on Facebook and in text messages. Months later, two teens are arrested. Read an article about the case here, and then view a panel discussion about the controversy here. As the trial began, a town was torn apart and a national conversation was ignited. View a panel discussion about whether taking advantage of an inebriated young woman constitutes acquaintance rape, how bystanders should react, and how males are socialized here. After the girl testifies persuasively (read the article here and view the video here), the juvenile court judge sends the two football players to an institution for delinquents for at least one year. One reaction to the case is that teenage boys need to be trained to intervene rather than just stand around and watch and snicker (read the article here).
A COURAGEOUS VICTIM OF A “SEXUAL ASSAULT” CAMPAIGNS FOR A BROADER DEFINITION OF “RAPE” IN NEW YORK STATE’S PENAL CODEConnects to the new definition adopted by the FBI that was discussed on p. 75 in Ch. 3; raises issues about rape victims publicly identifying themselves, as mentioned on pp. 316-317 in Ch. 10; and provides another example of resilience to encourage the study of survivorology as described on pp. 23-25 in Ch. 1, and another inspiring example of activism that could be added to Box 13.3 on p. 422 of Ch. 13.
An elementary school teacher was attacked by a drunken police officer but the ways he penetrated her were not considered to be a “rape” under the existing legal definition. She is trying to persuade the state legislature to change the law, even though the “sexual assault” she suffered carries the same penalties as a “rape.” Read about her personal struggle and political efforts here.
Then read about the women’s movement’s efforts over the years to reform laws governing how rape cases are handled by the criminal justice system here.
THE NEW MISS AMERICA IS AN ACTIVIST WHO RAISES AWARENESS ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDRENHighlights some of the issues mentioned on p. 234 of Ch. 8
CAN A COMEDIAN’S JOKE ABOUT RAPE EVER BE CONSIDERED FUNNY?
A stand-up comic made a joke about a member of the audience getting raped. Under what circumstances can rape be a laughing matter? View a discussion here.
A REAL-LIFE SEX OFFENDER PLAYS THE PART OF A MAN WHO WAS MOLESTED AS A BOY ON A POPULAR TV SHOWIllustrates the complexity of a former victim turning into an offender that was raised on p. 8 of Ch. 1