Over the past few decades, increasing attention has been focused on U.S. Military violence against women. Evidence shows that violence against women is a pervasive issue within the military as it is with civilians. However, women in the military are the most vulnerable ones due to geographical isolation from friends and family, and the potential for isolation within the military culture.
US Military violence against women is real against women is real
If we take an example of the 1991 tail hook scandal, over 100 navy officers at a convention, sexually abused and assaulted dozens of women. The worst thing is that not even a single army officer was convicted. Investigations were carried out the behavior had been approved for years. In 2004, 3 returning veterans who used to serve in Special Forces in Afghanistan abused and killed their spouses.
More than 210,000 women serve as US military with almost 60,000 female troops being deployed overseas to support the ongoing wars. In most cases, women are sent in a group of so many males making them more vulnerable.
Mostly, victims of military domestic violence are obviously women, civilian spouses of active duty personnel. More than half of the victims have been married for two years with majority of them having children. U.S Military army has shown to have increased number of domestic violence against women, followed by the marines, navy, and the air force.
A significant number of females in the military have histories of victimization. For example, among US navy recruits, 46% of females reported being victims of attempted rape, 9% completed with 36% being raped before entering the navy.
Most women fear reporting their oppressors
Abused women in the military are mostly afraid of reporting the incidents due to the lack of confidentiality and privacy; it is also because of limited victim services. Some oppressed women fear retaliation and damage to their careers, or fear being portrayed as disloyal by the superiors. In fact, those women who report such cases are mostly intimidated, punished, or even ostracized. And after a perpetrator is reported, instead of being punished he is usually transferred to another location, given marriage counseling, and anger management classes instead of being punished.
How do US deal with military violence against women?
According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which regulates behavior in the military, those individuals who are guilty of violence against women receive either non judicial punishment or courts marital. Examples of non judicial punishments typically involve demotions, verbal admonishments, or forfeitures in pay. Court martial are military courts that are divided into special, general, and summary court martial. Each of them has different authority and functions to carry out punishments. However, these military punishments usually anger women since they are usually unpredictable and disciplinary actions are not guaranteed.
It is about time that United States shows its commitment to improving women’s rights by taking action on this issue. These women risk their lives in service in the service of the US and so they deserve justice against their perpetrators. US military violence against women should be fought against!