Jezebel recently reported on a lawsuit filed by former soldiers against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld. The soldiers state that they created a military culture which protected and enabled their rapists, providing no protection for them.
A culture that, these women and men say, not only allowed their assaults but bullied them when they tried to report and, in many cases, left their assailants free and even thriving.
Not only were the women’s complaints to the military ignored, according to the article, but their rapists led thriving careers in the military. One alleged assailant was given an award for “Airman of the Quarter.”
This incident also brings to the light the unmet needs of women in the military. It is sad that a horrifying case like this one is what is needed to bring to light the unequal treatment, and untrue views of our women in uniform.
As demoralizing as it can be to contemplate such concentrated violence and misogyny, we’re hearing these stories because these survivors refused to go away quietly, and are bravely fighting back.
We thank these soldiers for coming forward and bringing to light the trials and discrimination women experience in the military.