Nicole McCoy is doing a fantastic job of exposing the invisible war that many of this nation’s military members are fighting. When Nicole was in the Marine Corps, she was raped and sexually assaulted multiple times. Nicole reported it and was met with humiliation and intimidation.
Nicole McCoy’s story
I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country. I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years. In that time I was raped twice and sexually assaulted another two times.
The first time it happened I was serving abroad in Afghanistan. After that first incident I was assaulted three other times over the course of three years. It came to happen so often that I assumed it was normal and that it must happen to everyone. I never received any training on how to deal with sexual assault in the military- I didn’t even know how to report it.
When I finally decided to report the sexual assaults I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated.
I learned that there is currently no national military sex offender registry and that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers. A sex offender registration for convicted for military personal would help to address the impunity that surrounds rape within rape the military. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good.
When asked why sex offenders do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers.
This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military. Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service. If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.
Join me in asking the Department of Defense to create a national database for sex offenders.
19,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults per year
The DoD itself estimates that military members face over 19,000 rapes and sexual assaults annually. Although this pace has been sustained for at least the last two years, it represents a huge increase historically. Unfortunately, the DoD spent more money on that useless and unconstitutional mandatory Spiritual Fitness test than they do on rape response and prevention (military-wide).
There are some things you can do to help Nicole and the tens of thousands of rape and sexual assault victims in the military. First off, anybody can sign this petition – even those living outside of USA.
If you’re a victim, please send Nicole your story (you can request anonymity). She’s collecting stories for an upcoming project to further her cause – drastically increasing awareness and implementing enforceable and realistic controls for sexual assault.
She’s demanding that the DoD implement a Sex Offender registry for the military. Furthermore she’s asking that sex offenders who do kicked out for their crimes also get added to extant civilian sex offender registries. This is crucial, as I’ve personally seen one of my soldiers get kicked out for statutory rape with a 14 year old girl. His punishment: get out of the military. That’s it. Nothing else.
Another way you can help is by spreading the word. Watch her video, educate yourself, and then spread the word.
Sadly, there really is a small but vocal segment of the US population that outright blame women for their rapes because they joined the military.
Being ‘raped too much’…
I believe this is what people call a ‘gender traitor’… perhaps just ‘traitor’ would be just as accurate. Liz Trotta at Fox News made me yell at the television when I saw this.
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.
Please sign the petition and share this with everyone you know.