the rape-able class
17.02.2011 § Leave a comment
trigger warning, re: rape trial stuff. …
Author of “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in
Iraq,” Benedict said today: “I’ve interviewed over 40 women who served
in Iraq, many of whom told me stories of sexual harassment and rape at
the hands of their so-called brothers-in-arms. These women’s stories
inspired lawyer Susan Burke to put together the class action against
the Pentagon being reported today… Most [women i talked to] were assaulted by their superior
officers, men who had control over when they slept, ate, walked, sat,
where they worked and what jobs they did. Often, when they tried to
report their assaults, the command ignored them or threatened them
with punishments to keep them quiet. Even the DoD admits that, for
these reasons, 80 to 90 percent of assaults are never reported at all.
Some stories:* Marti Ribeiro of the Air Force was raped by an American soldier
while she was standing guard at night in Afghanistan. When she tried
to report it, she was threatened with court martial.
* Mickiela Montoya, army specialist, had to carry a knife with her at
all times in Iraq because she was threatened with rape so often by the
* Abbie Picket, army specialist, was assaulted by an officer whom she
was supposed to obey and trust.
* Jennifer Spranger, army specialist, was harassed so continuously by
fellow soldiers, both during training and at war, that she came home
shaking and traumatized.
* Suzanne Swift was court martialed and sent to military prison for a
month after she refused to redeploy with a sergeant who had repeatedly
It also says the two defense secretaries failed “to take reasonable steps to prevent plaintiffs from being repeatedly raped, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by federal military personnel.”
The plaintiffs’ stories in the complaint include accounts of a soldier stripping naked and dancing on a table during a break in a class on preventing sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, and the rape of a woman by two men who videotaped the assault and circulated it to the woman’s colleagues. Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that “sexual assault is a wider societal problem” and that Mr. Gates was working to ensure that the military was “doing all it can to prevent and respond to it.”