19,000 service members raped or sexually assaulted in 2010

You may have seen Jon Stewart speak about the insanity from Fox News personality Liz Trotta. It was brutal. He championed the natural facepalm reaction to her comments in a glorious way. It was funny, but it still made you want to cry, or scream. I actually yelled at my TV.

Reap has an article from last year that noticed the trend.

Representative Jackie Speier,  who also told the  House of Representatives in Feb the story about her abortion while they decided whether to de-fund planned parenthood, made a statement about rapes in the military. In her speech the following points were made-

  • Women in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed by enemy fire.
  • One victim was lectured by the base chaplain, who claimed that 96 percent of sexual assaults on women occur when drinking is involved. The victim had not been drinking.
  • In another case after seeking the assistance of the military chaplain, he told her “it must have been God’s will for her to be raped” and recommended she attend church more frequently.
  • The Department of Defense estimates that more than 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted in 2010.
  • Only 13.5 percent of the victims report when they have been raped.

I don’t know about you but when I read this my response was “What the fuck?!”  Estimated 19,000??

19,000? How could this possibly be going on? I have no idea how this could be allowed to go on and people are not outraged. I hope Jackie can get something done about it. Maybe she will have better luck than she did with the planned-parenthood deal. The way it’s been going the fucking Republicans will probably vote to open more churches on military bases, after all the chaplain said to “attend more church services”

Now if anyone ever wonders why I feel like it is important to speak out against organized religion, this is a good example.

I’ve heard that there are some issues with exactly how ‘rape / sexual assault’ numbers were calculated for that study. But still the metrics are rising, no matter which set of definitions you use… (‘unwanted sexual contact including smack on the ass?’ etc… all rising.)

The fact of the matter is that funds for sexual assault prevention and response efforts are a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of money spent on evangelizing and proselytizing soldiers and their children. And I’m NOT talking about the chaplaincy at all – I’m talking about no-bid contracts to CIVILIANS and third-party religious organizations!

With that in mind, it’s clear to see that rape is not treated with the same level of support as actively attempting to convert military members to Christianity. I’ve got an idea on how to fund a program that really works – perhaps slash the budget of ‘spiritual fitness’ initiatives. Fraud, waste, and abuse. And when we clearly need real-world support for male and female soldiers that are raped.

This is depressing.

Liz Trotta fox news military rape fan

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About Justin Griffith
  • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

    Its worth noting that part of this increase has to do with the massive increase in focus that the Department of Defense (finally) began to mandate. The number of Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, combined with a huge training effort, that saw an increase in reporting, not attacks. In other words, the rape statistics have ALWAYS been high.

    If that doesn’t chill you to your core and tell you that this is something that needs to get fixed NOW, I honestly don’t know what to tell you; you’re obviously so morally bankrupt or ethically tone deaf that I’m not sure I want to even LOOK at you. We’re the United States military; ethical conduct is supposed to be our touchstone. Explaining it away by saying that women should just go ahead and EXPECT to be raped just because they had the AUDACITY to be in close proximity to a man doesn’t just do women a huge disservice, its basically saying that we’re perfectly content to let “boys be boys” and hold males to this disgustingly low standard.

    The whole thing is utterly infuriating.

  • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

    Oh, and for the record, this is coming on the heels of the predictably deranged fury coming from extreme right now the US Army has announced that women will be allowed to move closer to combat roles.

  • julian

    One victim was lectured by the base chaplain, who claimed that 96 percent of sexual assaults on women occur when drinking is involved. The victim had not been drinking.

    Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

    I have yet to meet a chaplain that wasn’t worthless. Infantrymen and others in direct combat situations may need them but us POG units (and anyone in the rear) need actual professionals. Not some fucking reject out of seminary school.

    The majority of cases they deal with are spousal violence, divorce tensions and the general grind of working for Uncle Sam. Those are the places believers have the worst habit of getting self-righteous and hopping up on their soap box. It is irresponsible to require anyone talk to those asshats or leave them near people who need actual guidance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mvils leni

    Maybe those little yellow ribbons should have an asterisk and a “*Except Whiny Rape Victims” disclaimer.

  • Whiskeyjack
  • dmf

    I’m wondering if Trotta was raped whilst an embedded “journalist” in Vietnam. And if so, was it ok? And if not, does she feel left out?

    This woman is clearly deranged.

  • arakasi

    My wife spent most of a year in Iraq as a medical officer. The only time she came close to unholstering her sidearm in self defense was when a US civilian contractor started stalking her. She ended up spending most of a week in sight of at least two of her soldiers at all times – to the extent of camping out on her lieutenant’s floor.

    Fortunately, he moved on to another base before he did something stupid and someone got seriously hurt, but it was a close call for a bit there.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    One thing that stood out to me when I first watched this and got past the horrifying phrase “raped too much” was how they kept listing her career achievements beside her, a quite distinguished career outside the home, and yet she still somehow managed to demonize feminists.

    Because hey, what has feminism ever done for her?

  • elbruce

    I’ve got a great idea for reducing the instance of rape. If you’re a rapist, then stop raping people. If you’re thinking about raping someone, don’t.

    Let’s focus less on the people being raped and more on the rapists. Maybe if they were less rape-y, there would be fewer rapes.

  • Felix

    @YankeeCyncic

    “We’re the United States military; ethical conduct is supposed to be our touchstone.”

    LOL

    If you’re in the US military and yet wish ethical conduct to be your touchstone I suggest you resign immediately.

    Seriously.

    I doubt there is a single role that you undertake there which couldn’t be undertaken as a civilian without the ethical burden of being a soldier (airman etc.).

  • James
  • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

    @Felix

    “If you’re in the US military and yet wish ethical conduct to be your touchstone I suggest you resign immediately.

    Seriously. I doubt there is a single role that you undertake there which couldn’t be undertaken as a civilian without the ethical burden of being a soldier (airman etc.).”

    I’m not sure what you think is involved in military service, but this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all day. The basic tenants of ethics don’t stop when you become a Soldier, nor any other kind of Service Member.

    I’m not sure what to be more insulted about: the ignorance, or the implication that myself and everyone I work with are ethically bankrupt animals.

  • Aquaria

    #9:

    There’s even a poster explaining how that works, if the Army’s interested.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rockbeyondbelief/ Justin Griffith

    I’m not sure what to be more insulted about: the ignorance, or the implication that myself and everyone I work with are ethically bankrupt animals.

    Completely agreed, Yankee

  • Felix

    @Justin @YankeeCynic

    I feel bound to reply having left a comment that has been taken to be a direct insult to the eminent writer of this blog. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier, I’m must have forgot to request email notifications.

    It was not my intention to suggest that everybody in the US military is an “ethically bankrupt animal”. (Although some surely are, and we have heard plenty about a small number of them in the past decade).

    I think that the average level of ethical behaviour in the general population (US,UK, maybe everywhere) is roughly similar to the average level of ethics in the US military.

    However, if as an individual you desire to live with ethical conduct as your touchstone then meeting the average is not good enough.

    For example, I like to consider myself to be ethically above average (due to upbringing rather than effort). However, if I wanted to put ethics at the centre of my life there are certain things I would have to do. For example, I would have to honour certain personal obligations which sloth has kept me from attending to, I would have to give up eating meat, increase the amount I give to charity and start doing voluntary work.

    I believe that if I was a member of the US military and I decided to put ethics at the centre of my life then I would have to resign.

    Why? Because the US military is a tool of the US government whose purpose is to advance and maintain US power around the globe. It does this using the threat of force which it keeps credible by using disproportionate force on a regular basis. I could go on but I think you get the idea … it ain’t the Red Cross.

    Once again, that does not mean that all forces members are ethically bankrupt. Many of them will meet ethically challenging situations and some will respond with hugely admirable actions, such as the JAG officers who spoke out against Guantanamo (GTMO).

    Others may be fortunate enough that they are never forced to directly confront the personal ethical dilemma that, say, being posted to Abu Ghraib facility would represent.

    Those that are confronted with stark ethical choices often behave like the rest of the population – they turn a blind eye, try not to rock the boat and get on with the day job.

    That is what you get with average level of ethical behaviour.

    I hope that clarifies my earlier comment.


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