Speech for International Women’s Day on the role of the military in the war on women
There were 3,553 sexual assault complaints reported to the Defense Department from October 2012-June 2012. During that same period, there were 219 casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers were 15 times more likely to be raped by a comrade than to be killed by an enemy.
About 26,000 women and men in the military were sexually assaulted in 2012. About 75% of women her were assaulted did not report the attacks; about 76% of the men who were assaulted didn’t report their attacks either.
The Pentagon estimates that 85% of sexual assault crimes go unreported.
About 40% of victims in one study indicated that the perpetrator was their ranking officer.
During the reported period, only 302 service members faced punishment or dismissal as a result of being charged, which is less than 2.5% of the total suspected number of sexual assaults and rape, yet 62% of victims who reported sexual assault experienced retaliation.
48,100 women and 43,700 men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, responding to a survey, acknowledged suffering from military sexual trauma.
According to the Department of Labor, between 20-48% of female veterans were sexually assaulted in the military. More women leave the military with post-traumatic stress disorder from rape than from combat.
In the past 25 years, more than 500,000 people have been sexually assaulted in the military.
90% of survivors of sexual assault in the military are involuntarily discharged.
80% of perpetrators and those accused are discharged with honor.
I could rattle off statistics all day about the abuses of the military, but I’d rather talk about fear. There is rampant fear within the military, to report abuses, to fight back, to speak out against this toxic atmosphere. There is fear outside of the military as well.