Quite a headline, quite a claim.
Rape victims labeled CRAZY.
It gets you in the gut.
Story after story from women in the military who say they not only endured the horror of rape by those they served with, but when they reported it, they were either not believed or were treated so dismissively, it lead to even more trauma after the crime they had already endured.
The Department of Defense just released it’s report of sexual assaults in the military and the numbers are up from last year. There were nearly 3200 reported sexual assaults in the military in 2011. We, of course, know this is one of the most under-reported crimes, so in all likelihood the numbers are higher.
The report goes on to outline steps the DOD is taking in prevention:
- Establishment of a sexual assault advocate credentialing and certification program
- Expansion of sexual assault support services to military spouses and adult military dependents
- Increased funding for investigators and judge advocates to receive additional specialized training
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says, “Sexual assault has no place in this department. It is an affront to the basic American values we defend, and to the good honor of our service members and their families.”
Those are powerful words, but it’s too late for women like Stephanie Schroeder who says she was called a liar and worse when she reported being kicked, punched and raped by a fellow Marine.
Read Stephanie’s story and the stories of other women who say when they told of being raped while serving the country, they were given a psychiatric diagnosis.
The Department of Defense has a Safe Helpline for military survivors of sexual assault.
The 24-hour number is 877-995-5247.
*pic courtesy CNN.com