October 9, 2009

Military Rape Awareness Week: October 12 - 16, 2009

Warning: Study says 1 in 3 Women RAPED in the Military
A.G. Sadler, et al., Factors Associated with Women's Risk of Rape in the Military Environment, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 43:262-273 (2003). Important, see Erratum correcting study's rate of rape from 28% to 30%.

The view of women as sexual prey rather than as responsible adults has always been part of military culture. Women today are indispensable to the military. Nevertheless, one woman soldier observed: "There are only three things the guys let you be if you're a girl in the military - a bitch, a ho, or a dyke." Not all military men see women soldiers this way, but too many do. The hostility is shown by undermining women's authority, denying promotions, denigrating their work, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

A 2004 study of women veterans from Vietnam and all wars since, who were seeking help for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), found that 71% said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving.

The VA study (referenced in the title above) was funded by the Army Medical Research Department and found that 30% of women veterans said they were raped while serving. That is almost one in three.

Thirty seven percent of the attempted raped and raped women in the VA study also reported being raped more than once and 14% of them reported being gang raped. This study also discovered that 75% of raped women in the military failed to report it.

Although this is an epidemic, it is not being treated as one.

Depression, shame, terror, irrationally blaming themselves, difficulty trusting anybody again.
Emotional numbness, helplessness, fear, flashbacks, nightmares.
Severe medical problems, drug and/or alcohol dependency.
Homelessness - 40% of female veterans report being raped in the military.
Even a Pack of Cigarettes has a Warning

VFP National will assist local chapters and other organizations in a nationwide effort to warn women, our daughters, sister, aunts, mothers and nieces of the known risk of rape in the military. A Veterans Administrative Study financed by the US Army Medical Corps reported that 1 in 3 women in the military were raped. Read the details of the study on VFP's WEB site link to the MRAW and the list of other studies and reports on the problem. To insure that your efforts during the campaign are credible and successful, please educate yourself and your chapter's members.

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