Post 7, The Private War of Women Soldiers (Essay 62)
April 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
Helen Benedict’s essay addresses the sever issue regarding sexual assault within the military. In Iraq, women face two enemies; those that are foreign and those that are on the same side. In addition to the stress that being a soldier brings, they must also fear harassment and rape: “I have talked to more than 20 female veterans of the Iraq war in the past few months, interviewing them for up to 10 hours each for a book I am wiring on the topic, and ever one of them said the danger of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers without another woman for protection…” (570).
The Department of Defense tries to resolve the issue by having a website women can turn to. The website is truly not enough, and the military is working on better projects that bring about awareness of sexual assault. Women who have experienced assault are more likely to become inflicted with post traumatic stress disorder. My friend who is in the Air Force, recently told me about a sexual assault lecture him and other soldiers had to attend. Upon being told an example of a woman from the unit that was assaulted, he noted how some men blamed the victim or just goofed off.
I certainly agree with Helen about how this issue is not being handled properly. Clearly having a website is not enough, and other measures need to be taken to better serve these women. What are some ideas that you can think of?