Women make up fifteen percent of the U.S. military.
One of every ten U.S. troops serving in Iraq is a woman.
More than 16,000 single mothers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Roughly one-third of female veterans who have sought counseling at the VA report having been the victim of rape or attempted rape during their service.
The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, already overburdened by casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan, are ill-equipped to provide the assistance that the victims of sexual assault and harassment need.
Even more disturbing than the lack of adequate care for victims of sexual assault in the military is the Department of Defense’s record of prosecuting sexual assault charges: only one-tenth of the sexual assault charges brought in the military resulted in courts-martial. Understandably, this results in an attitude of “why bother?” for women in uniform when it comes to reporting rape or sexual harassment to their commanding officers.
Veterans for America (VFA) encourages female service members who are victims of rape or attempted rape to file a report with the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program and seek medical assistance and psychological counseling.
If, for whatever reason, you are unable or unwilling to seek assistance within the military, VFA has assembled a list of rape crisis centers in close proximity to every major military installation in the United States.
As a nation, we must do everything we can to ensure that all who serve are treated with respect and decency, regardless of their gender. When that fails, victims of assault and harassment must receive the help they need and that perpetrators of those crimes must be punished. The brave women of the U.S. military deserve nothing less.