Statistics and soldiers’ testimonies reveal a harrowing epidemic of sexual assault in the US military.
Sexual assault within the ranks of the military is not a new problem. It is a systemic problem that has necessitated that the military conduct its own annual reporting on the crisis.
A 2003 Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal prompted the department of defense to include a provision in the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act that required investigations and reports of sexual harassment and assaults within US military academies to be filed. The personal toll is, nevertheless, devastating.
Military sexual trauma (MST) survivor Susan Avila-Smith is director of the veteran’s advocacy group Women Organizing Women. She has been serving female and scores of male clients in various stages of recovery from MST for 15 years and knows of its devastating effects up close.
Dahr Jamail, an independent journalist, has been covering the Middle East for more than five years and is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. He reports for Inter Press Service and is a regular contributor to TomDispatch. He has also published in Le Monde Diplomatique, the Independent, the Guardian, the Sunday Herald of Scotland, the Nation, and Foreign Policy in Focus, among others. He has been a regular contributor to eNews Park Forest. To visit his website, go here.