Grappling With an Epidemic of Assault

Over the summer, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos hosted a dinner with a handful of lawmakers to discuss a hidden epidemic of violence in the military: 19,000 servicemembers are estimated to be victims of rape or sexual assault each year.

The high-level gathering was a signal of how seriously the military brass is now taking the problem of sexual assaults. But the dinner guests were quickly reminded of just how taboo the subject remains for much of the armed forces. Someone mentioned the low reporting rates — only 2,723 military victims came forward to formally disclose assaults in 2011. Amos’ wife turned to a high-ranking female officer at the table and asked what she would do if she were assaulted. Would she report the crime?

“With the commandant present and [three] members of Congress, she honestly answered no,” recalls Ohio Republican Michael R. Turner, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Women “perceive that it can affect someone’s career in the military negatively if they report they’re the victim of the crime,” Turner says. “And that’s just wrong.”

Turner’s outrage is widely shared in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. That consensus breaks down, however, over how best to legislate and implement a sweeping cultural change in an institution as large and complex as the U.S. military.

The debate rests on the question of whether the armed forces — where loyalty and fraternity are deeply ingrained values and resistance to outside interference is the norm — can remake itself and, most important, police itself on matters of sexual violence. Both sides acknowledge that it isn’t yet clear whether the military is at a true tipping point such that a change in culture is systematically spreading down through the services’ ranks.

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Posted in military sexual trauma
2 comments on “Grappling With an Epidemic of Assault
  1. CPT Michael C. Goncalves (SC) discharged Whistleblower Victim says:

    Tell Marine Corps Commandant Amos to KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) my ASS (Army Scumbag Standard [Operating Procedure]!!! This is the S-A-M-E Marine Corps Commandant who pulled a strip off SSG Wullrich(?) when the Nazis …(Oooops, wrong war)…when USMC marines butchered 28 civilians and wounded 60 at Hidetha, Iraq including an old man in a wheel chair because some one popped a IED off on his troops. There were 28 bodies and 60 wounded people but Navy CID declared NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROSECUTE!!!.

    President Malikie O-R-D-E-R-E-D American Troops to de-ass Iraq as a result of the massacre so have President Obama tell me again how we ‘Won the War on Terrorism. As I tell people—don;t bother praying to little baby JESUS to make it military rape stop—under the Hague Invasion Act (2003) Jesus doesn’t have any jurisdiction…only the local commander is authorized to hold soldiers/sailours/airmen & marines Responsible IF he/she FEELS like it!!! None of the military’s laws are enforceable and I should know…I taught their worthless bullshit LAWS!!! You get raped? You need to keep your sobs to a minimum because SOME of us need our sleep, lady!!!

    When my troops repeatedly pulled trains (GANGBANGED) on Female trustees at Camp Parks, What did the Army do? Pull a strip on one of the rapists and deploy the rest!!! The rapist was permitted to go to another unit (AGR, whattya want!!!) When I called the FBI, under colour of military authority, to prevent command from bury the rapes, THE Army went AFTER ME IN SPADES!!!

    They CRUSHED EVERYONE WHO DARED ASSIST ME including my two detailed ARMY LAWYERS!!! NO LAW IS ENFORCEABLE in the military and IT IS A LIE TO SAY THAT THEY ARE!!! Army Whistleblower’s Protection Act? Army regulation? Federal Law? The Constitution? Don’t make me laugh!!! Did I mention I spoke to the FBI agent in charge of my investigation? She was so pissed off that she wanted to file OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES AGAINST THE ARMY but her handlers wouldn’t authorize it…so it all went away.

    Are you a soldier or AGR and you need a piece of ass? Go to Camp Parks and ask for your MILITARY Discount. Remember to get there early as the line up starts at 1600hrs and some of them trustrees can look rather ragged!!!
    You want to see ARMY VALUES IN PRACTICE? I filed FIVE ARTICLE 138s before FOUR, count them F-O-U-R GCMCAs and none of my ARTICLE 138s have been adjudicated. Did I mention AR 27-10 Military Justice requires all Complaints of Wrongs to be adjudicated in 90 days? NINE YEARS LATER, N-O-N-E of my complaints have been started INCLUDING THE ONE I FILLED OUT ABOUT THE RAPES!!! SIX JAG attorneys detailed, four abandoned me, one was thrown out of the Army for daring to help me and as for my last Army Attorney—they FAKED his Legal Malpractice by tearing up ALL OF HIS TIMELY LEGAL FILINGS then claiming he didn’t demonstrate ‘due dilligence, which is a form of Professional Negligence which is barred under the Feres Doctrine (Negligence, Incidental to military service).

    GOT A PROBLEM WITH A SOLDIER, ARMY? SET HIM/HER UP (COMMIT A CRIME), DECLARE IT AN ACT OF NEGLIGENCE, THREATEN ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE, THEN PLEAD FERES DOCTRINE (Commission of Criminal Acts that are incidental to military service) and howl with laughter as the Rape Victims’ FTCA case is thrown out of court, assuming it even gets to court because no lawyer wants to do FERES Cases. Seven Congressional filings (four went missing) the rest deferred. THREE worthless IG complaints including a 15-6 worthless investigation that I wasted an hour showing them documents!!! Unless you take hostages, A-N-Y filing you do will never see the light of day (that’s a fact, jack!!!).

    Ask me if I am bitter!!! Did I tell you I got stuck with $61K in missing inventory for a command I held for exactly 96hrs? Did I tell you that as a CIVILIAN, not in the Army, I went to SEC DEFENSE the HON Dr. Robert Gates who ORDERED the USARC CDR, LTG Jack ‘JACKASS’ Stultz to work on my claims.

    ANYONE WANT TO SEE MY DOCUMENTS? First the Army tampers with my JAG Attorney (I got it in writing) THEN, when my attorney puts in a continuance, Judge Robert Thomas 1. Destroys his AKO copy, 2. destroys our mailed Hard Copy, 3. destroyed our CONGRESSIONAL FAX of same (plus the letter of receipt) and then claimed he didn’t receive any paperwork in time SO ALL MY COMPLAINTS OF WRONGS ARE FORFEITED!!! Want to hear the PUNCHLINE—Judge Thomas isn'[t even the GCMCA, he’s just a flunky Point of Contact. He has no authority to declare ANYTHING in FORFEITURE—only the GCMCA can do that. And only the TJAG can close the file, not this little shit JUDGE!!! In my Army Career, I taught 4,000 troops HARMFUL Army Policies & procedures which they will come to depend on as I did. Nice Parachute Bag, buddy—too bad Parachute not included!!!

    If you are RAPED in the military, REMEMBER—YOU ARE THE ENEMY!!! By reporting YOUR RAPE, You are going to make the Command LOOK BAD. No one will help you and it is a LIE to say they will. IF your statement is taken, it will be placed in a file and you will be told to BE PATIENT ‘THESE THINGS TAKE TIME’. What they mean is ‘WHEN IS YOUR MRD date and how fast can the military throw your file away?!!! I t-a-u-g-h-t Army fraternization policy, Army Homosexual Policy, Army Rape Protocols, Army Regulations, yada,yada,yada!!! It is ON THE BOOKS, THAT’S IT!!!

    DON’T TAKE MY DISILLUSIONMENT AWAY FROM ME; I’LL HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR!!! cptg

  2. THe question is more has the military the willingness to rethink what valiues to attach to loyalty and fraternity and change the values to be more in line with comtemporary thinking. These values have to be changed in an internal process if possible or externally imposed the choice is up to the senior command but the values are indefensible in todays society and the change has to start today.
    We have to make the effort to make the change. It will not happen instateneously
    but will take at teast a geberation.
    The minimum we can or should expect is a commitment to change.Wigthout that commitment we are once again spinning our wheels

    JoAnn Nevermann

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