The Military's Big Sexual Assault Problem

BlogHer Original Post

Last week the officer in charge of the Air Force’s anti-sexual assault unit was arrested and charged with sexual battery. Yes, you read that right. Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski attacked a woman in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon, grabbing her ass and breasts. If that isn’t telling about the military’s sexual assault crisis, I don’t know what is. It certainly doesn’t speak well for the Pentagon.

According to a 2012 study released today by the Pentagon, the number of sexual assaults rose sharply even from 2011. But since those are only the reported cases, the Pentagon admits the numbers are undoubtedly much higher--close to 26,000 a year. But many victims are finally telling their stories, and they’re doing so in an incredibly powerful way on the award-winning blog MyDutytoSpeak.com. Here's one recent story.

I am a 25-year-old woman veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that resulted from being raped while serving in the U.S Army. Every single time that I go for rape counseling at the Phoenix VA Medical Center I get sexually harassed by other patients. No matter how bad I look the harassment is inevitable.

Jan 03, 2012 - Kandahar, Afghanistan - Pfc. JAMIE STERNA, from Milwaukee, waits to head out on a patrol near Sperwan Ghar in southern Kandahar Province. Sterna is a member of the Female Engagement Team working with the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The women soldiers wear scarfs to identify as women when they meet with Afghan women.(Image © Cheryl Hatch/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Why is this so hard to fix?

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