Tuesday, February 15, 2011

US veterans sue Pentagon for ignoring rape victims.

It is shameful, if not downright evil, that our army and government turn a blind eye to this. From Daily Mail:
Fourteen U.S. veterans who say they were raped and abused by their comrades today accused the Pentagon of ignoring their claims.

More than a dozen female and two male current or former service members will launch a legal action today, claiming that servicemen get away with rape and other sexual abuse.

One woman claimed that two male colleagues raped her in Iraq and videotaped the attack, circulating it around the base.

She was bruised from her shoulders to her elbows from being held down but charges were not filed as the commander said she 'did not struggle enough or act like a rape victim'.

Victims have also claimed that they are often ordered to serve alongside those they say attacked them.

So incensed are some of the victims about the way complaints were handled that several women have waived their anonymity to speak out.

In a federal class-action lawsuit to be filed today, they want an objective third party to handle such complaints because individual commanders have too much say in how allegations are handled.

The alleged attackers in the lawsuit include an Army criminal investigator and an Army National Guard commander. The abuse alleged ranges from obscene verbal abuse to gang rape.

It also specifically names Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld who they say both failed to take aggressive measures to protect women.

In 2009, there were 3,200 sexual assaults reported in the military with fewer than a quarter of those prosecuted, many for lesser charges.

In fact statistics show it is more likely for a woman to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

Panayiota Bertzikis, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit and claims she was raped in 2006, said: 'The problem of rape in the military is not only service members getting raped, but it's the entire way that the military as a whole is dealing with it.

'From survivors having to be involuntarily discharged from service, the constant verbal abuse, once a survivor does come forward your entire unit is known to turn their back on you. The entire culture needs to be changed.'

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