Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Sexual violence.]

Why I am not even a little fucking surprised:
The Pentagon misled Congress with inaccurate and vague information about sexual assault cases that portrayed civilian law enforcement officials as less willing than military commanders to punish sex offenders, an Associated Press investigation found.

Local district attorneys and police forces failed to act against U.S. service members who were subsequently prosecuted in military courts for sex crimes, according to internal government records that summarized the outcomes of dozens of cases. But in a number of cases, the steps taken by civilian authorities were described incorrectly or omitted. Other case descriptions were too imprecise to be verified.

There also is nothing in the records that supports the primary reason the Pentagon told Congress about the cases in the first place: To show top military brass as hard-nosed crime fighters who insisted on taking the cases to trial.

...The consequences could be significant if lawmakers believe they were misinformed. A backlash may stoke additional support for the Senate bill that's failed to pass largely because of the military's strident opposition. Another vote on the legislation could come as early as June.

The legislation aims to stop sexual assaults by stripping senior officers of their responsibilities to decide whether to prosecute sexual assault cases and giving that authority to seasoned military trial lawyers. Protect Our Defenders, a nonpartisan organization, supports the bill.

"Someone at the Pentagon should be held accountable," said retired Col. Don Christensen, the organization's president and the former chief Air Force prosecutor. "Whether you agree or disagree with the policy, every senator - especially those who repeated the claim or based their vote on the claim - should be outraged."
The Pentagon couldn't have proven the point more comprehensively that legislation is desperately needed to meaningfully address sexual violence in the US military.

I take up space in solidarity with servicemembers who have survived sexual violence, whether they have sought justice through formal channels or whether they have decided it wasn't worth the cost, for what was likely to be a futile endeavor.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus