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Rape in the US Military

Updated on February 17, 2011

Women have filed a class action lawsuit to force the Pentagon to change how it handles the rape of women serving their country. The class action involved 15 women and two men who describe how they had been raped while in the military. The defendants are Defense secretary Robert Gates and former, Donald Rumsfeld. The lawsuit claims verbal abuse, gang rapes are frequent in the US military and are handled lightly.

In one section, the suit describes how a woman was raped by two male co-workers she served with and was videotaped has she was held down and raped. After being raped, the men then passed the video around to others in the unit for entertainment. She filed a complaint with the unit commander who did nothing because, "she did not act like a rape victim and did not struggle enough". The victim had bruises all over her arms. Once a victim reports a rape, the unit makes life even more tough with verbal abuse and many victims are discharged. Another woman was raped on a hike while in the Coast Guard and when she reported it, nothing was done and she was forced to live on the same floor as the rapist who called her a "whore" and "liar". In some cases, the rapist receives nothing more than a cut in rank and being forced to stay on the base for a month and the victim was discharged for having a history of inappropriate relationships!

I guess rape in the military is not a crime.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      it's all bad....

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

      I guess it is no different from the real world where an admitted rapist is let go by female Judge Savage and she even spoke with the little girl 7-9 years old and when she set him free that little girl was still in reach of that rapist, no one took her or helped her and I think I read after that even her mother was involved abusing her.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      I totally agree!

    • JLClose profile image

      JLClose 6 years ago from OreGONE

      This is definitely a provocative topic. It caught my eye because I spent two years in the Air Force as a young woman and during that time encountered my share of sexual harassment. Fearing repercussions from the men, I never reported the incidents, and I still regret it to this day. In the military or civilian world, sexual harassment, ESPECIALLY rape, needs to be taken seriously.