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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Monday, January 26, 2004

If it isn't bad enough serving in Iraq ...

Female soldiers in the US military are being sexually assaulted by other soldiers. The Denver Post reports that at least 37 women have sought out sexual trauma counseling and related services civilian rape crisis groups after returning from service in Iraq, Kuwait, and other postings. Women make up about 10 percent of the troop currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The women, ranging from enlisted soldiers to officers, have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults. [...]

"We have significant concerns about the military's response to sexual assault in the combat zone," said Christine Hansen, executive director of the Connecticut-based Miles Foundation, which has assisted 31 women. "We have concerns that victims are not getting forensic exams. Evidence is not being collected in some cases, and they are not getting medical care and other services." [...]

Many of the victims are women of high rank. Several are officers. Most were stationed in Kuwait, a common launching point for troops occupying Iraq.

Among the most disturbing trends, say the victim advocates, is a disregard for the women's safety and medical treatment following an assault. Women are being left in the same units as their accused attackers and are not receiving sexual-trauma counseling.

"If you don't even get the victim to a level of medical accessibility, how do you get to anything else, such as evidence collection through forensic exams?" Hansen said. "There appears to be a shortage of criminal justice personnel to help them, too."


Keep in mind that this article is dealing only with reported sexual assaults on women. As in civilian life, we can be certain that only a fraction of actual assaults are reported by military women who are assaulted.

| | Posted by Magpie at 11:26 PM | Get permalink




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