but I find poking my finger up the arse of man very upsetting and even the thought very revolting. I don’t want to be sexist here so must clarify that I wont degrade a woman with such action. You can count us out too.
A friend of mine in Military academy says they were clearly told on the start that they must follow orders of their seniors while in training but they “MUST NOT” accept any commands to drop their pants for them and must report any such intent.
I don’t think people of Middle east are oppressed, they by tradition have multiple wives and maids. This is something that is celebrated and accepted even by the ME women themselves.
I think sexual degradation should be strictly prevented and punished in any so called military initiations or conditionings don’t be defensive if America is being discussed unfavorably here and on the rest of the web, America is supposed to lead by example of morality, fairness and truthfulness so its only natural that any thing negative will be much magnified.
Why am i not surprised? However, indiscipline is on the rise in US military and should be addressed promptly.
I would just like to remind everyone that, although tempting to pander to one's preferred biases, it is incorrect to make any generalizations based on individual criminal acts, no matter who commits them and where.
Documentary about rape in the US military changes government policy
Kirby Dick's The Invisible War has moved the US secretary of defence, Leon Panetta, to announce changes in policy towards the prosecution of rape in the military
Harrowing story ... Kori Cioca's case is highlighted in Kirby Dick's documentary about rape in the US military, The Invisible War. Photograph: Imagenet
A high-profile documentary about rape in the US military has helped move the secretary of defence, Leon Panetta, to change a much-maligned policy which critics say helps to protect attackers.
The Invisible War, from Kirby Dick, the Oscar-nominated director of This Film Is Not Yet Rated, screened at the Los Angeles film festival over the weekend and is not due to arrive in cinemas elsewhere in the US until Friday 22 June. Even so, the film-makers have embarked on a determined effort to screen the movie for members of Congress and staff at the department of defence and the Pentagon.
Among other harrowing stories, the film details the experiences of Kori Cioca, who was serving in the US coast guard in December 2005 when she was raped by a commanding officer in an assault which broke her jaw. When she sought to move forward with her case, her own commanding officer told her she would face court martial for lying if she pursued the issue. Her assailant, who admitted to the assault while denying that rape was part of it, was "punished" by being restricted to the base for 30 days and docked some pay. Cioca now has post-traumatic-stress-disorder, along with nerve damage to her face.
She is fighting the Veterans Administration (VA) to receive approval for surgery she urgently needs and has also become a plaintiff in a class action civil suit against the department of defence.
Dick told The Wrap that Panetta saw the film in April, and almost immediately called a press conference to announce changes in policy towards the prosecution of rape in the military. The film-makers discovered their coup when the secretary of defence ran into one of the film's executive producers, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, at a White House dinner. "He thanked her for making the film, said he was very moved by it, and told her that he had held the press conference in part because the film had made such an impact on him," Dick said.
Previously, US military policy was to allow unit commanders to oversee investigation and prosecution of reported assaults, a position which critics said often placed power in the hands of men who worked with, and were close friends of, the accused. The responsibility has now been moved higher up the chain of command to the level of US army colonel or navy captain, which the film-makers believe is a useful stepping stone towards the goal of wiping out the estimated 19,000 assaults that take place in the US military each year.
The move will not solve the problem overnight, however. "By moving the decision up but leaving it in the chain of command, a lot of the problems that you get at the unit commander level still exist," Dick said. "They might be somewhat mitigated, but they're still definitely there in terms of conflict of interest. The decision absolutely must be moved outside the chain of command, to an independent arbiter who has no relationship to the perpetrator or to the victim."
A number of bills are currently before Congress seeking further changes to the law. Democratic congresswoman Jackie Speier hopes to introduce the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act, which would move the decision to investigate and prosecute completely out of the military and put it under civilian control.
In the meantime, the film-makers can point to another coup as evidence that their call for change is being heard by the powers that be. Major general Mary Kay Hertog, who headed the military's sexual assault prevention and response office (SAPRO), and whose comments in the film position her as a defender of the status quo, has been removed from her position. "I'm not going to gloat about it," producer Amy Ziering told The Wrap. "But the timing is interesting."
• This article was amended on 20 June 2012 because the original described Jackie Speier as a Republican congressman. Speier is a Democratic congresswoman. This has been corrected.
Documentary about rape in the US military changes government policy | Film | guardian.co.uk
US Air Base Rocked By Sex Abuse Scandal
June 30, 2012
A US air force investigation has identified 31 female cadets who were sexually assaulted by their trainers at a Texas military camp. The scandal has raised concerns that the US armed forces are not doing enough to protect women in the military.
An internal probe is currently looking at 12 male military instructors that were serving at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. Six of them face charges of misconduct, including allegations of rape and adultery.
The majority of those under investigation were from the 331st training squadron, whose commander was dismissed from duty last week. He was not charged with sex crimes but was relieved because of the unacceptable level of misconduct in his unit.
“We are taking a comprehensive look, not only at the cases we know, but in trying to assess whether there are other cases out there,” said General Edward Rice during a Pentagon briefing. He added that to his knowledge, all 31 women who reported to have been victims of abuse were still in the military.
As well as the investigation, Rice has ordered an independent probe into the Air Force’s reaction to the scandal to assess whether more action is needed. Moreover, Air Force command is currently looking at the possibility of female cadets being trained by only female instructors.
Currently, only eleven percent of the US Air Force’s training instructors are women, while 22 percent of recruits are female.
The probe at Lackland base began a year ago after three instructors came forward with reports of sexual abuse among the training staff. In an unprecedented turn in the investigation, the Air Force shut the entire base down for a day this March to interview the 5,900 recruits.
Staff Sgt Luis Walker was the first trainer to be charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. He faces court martial next month.
“The fact that these assaults were widespread and took place over many months flies in the face of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy touted by our military leaders,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, also honorary chair of Protect Our Defenders, an organizations that fights against sexual abuse in the US military.*
The Silent Treatment
Although General Rice described the Lakeland scandal as a “localized” event, statistics suggest that sexual abuse is widespread in the US military.
The Pentagon estimates that anywhere between 80 and 90 per cent of sexual assault cases go unreported. Victims of abuse are more likely to stay silent in the face of ridicule and possible demotion.
In 2011 around 3,200 cases of sexual assault were reported in the American armed forces, a mere fraction of the 19,000 incidents that the Department of Defense estimated took place.
US Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta introduced measures in April to combat the problem, encouraging victims to come forward and ensuring that all complaints related to sexual assault will be investigated.
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