Sexual abuse happens in the US military at rates twice the national average, according to reports [GALLO/GETTY]
Every year, rape increases at an alarming rate within American military institutions " and even males are victims of the cycle.
In fact, due to raw demographics, one can roughly surmise that most victims of sexual abuse in the military are male.
Regardless of gender, reports of victims of military sexual assault have been increasing. In 2007, there were 2,200 reports of rape in the military, whilst in 2009 saw an increase up to 3,230 reports of sexual assault.
Many of the victims suffer from Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and are shamed into silence, with numerous cases not even reported.
A disturbing trend, however, is how military officials seem to be sweeping this damaging issue under the rug and deflecting blame.
Blaming the Victim
Kira Mountjoy-Pepka of Pack Parachute, a non-profit organisation which assists sexually abused veterans, explains that the military system favours the perpetrator. "What we're seeing now, and what we've seen for decades, is when someone is assaulted, the military investigators create false or misleading crime reports. Then the case is dismissed, and the command persecutes the victim for false reporting."She cites the Feres Doctrine (Feres v. United States, 340 US 135 ) that made it impossible for the survivor to sue the investigators since it, "essentially prohibits people from suing the military and/or petitioning any non-military legal authority for interdiction without the military's prior and explicit agreement and consent."
"If you're a victim and you report this crime and the military mishandles the investigation, you can't sue them," she explains, "I feel if this were taken up by Congress as an issue it would be exposed that the military is operating against the Constitution by denying victims their first amendment rights. The military always has their own investigators investigate [these cases], and that doesn't seem like justice to me."
The military goes to great lengths to protect the perpetrators, and that deters survivors from reporting. The incidences of sexual trauma in the military are staggering.
The Department of Defence claims to have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual assault in the ranks, but figures indicate otherwise. (for the entire Al Jazeera article, CLICK HERE)
To read Part 1, CLICK HERE