5-2-19 US military reports major spike in sex assaults
The US military has reported a major spike in sexual assaults despite years of efforts to address the problem. Figures show 20,500 instances of unwanted sexual contact occurred in 2018, up from 14,900 in 2016 which is the last time a survey was conducted. Alcohol was involved in one third of cases, and female recruits ages 17 to 24 are at the highest risk of attack. On Thursday, Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan directed the military to "criminalise" sexual harassment. The report released on Thursday surveyed the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and estimated a total of 20,500 cases in 2018. The total figure is based reports of attacks as well as an extrapolation of survey data which was gathered through a poll of over 100,000 troops. Researchers say the survey has a 95% level of confidence. Incidents of unwanted sexual contact - which ranges from groping to rape - rose by around 38% between 2016 and 2018. Only one out of three cases were reported to authorities, the report found. In 2006, only one in 14 victims reported sexual assault crimes, the Pentagon said. In more than 85% of cases, victims knew their attacker. The majority of cases involved young women whose attacker was often a superior officer. The report should be "a trip wire", said Nate Galbreath, Deputy Director of the Department' of Defense's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. "This is what tells us that there's something going on that we need to hone in on," he told ABC News. "We've got a higher prevalence for women 17 to 24. We're going to be focusing very, very tightly on that." Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee's personnel panel, told the USA Today newspaper that the military "must accept that current programmes are simply not working". "Congress must lead the way in forcing the department to take more aggressive approaches to fighting this scourge," she said, calling for intervention from US lawmakers.
3-7-19 Senator Martha McSally: I was raped by Air Force superior officer
A US senator has said that she was raped by a superior officer while serving in the Air Force. Senator Martha McSally, who was the first female US fighter pilot to fly in combat, was speaking at a hearing on sex assaults in the military. The Arizona Republican said she did not report the rape as she felt ashamed and confused, and distrusted the system. In 2017 nearly 6,800 sexual assaults were reported in the US military, a 10% rise on the previous year. Ms McSally, 52, was speaking on Wednesday during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee featuring victims of sexual assault. "The criminal actions reported today by Senator McSally violate every part of what it means to be an Airman," an Air Force spokeswoman said in a statement in response to her testimony. "We are appalled and deeply sorry for what Senator McSally experienced and we stand behind her and all victims of sexual assault." Ms McSally said she hoped to give sexual assault survivors hope by revealing her experience. "Like you, I also am a military sexual assault survivor, but unlike so many brave survivors, I didn't report being sexually assaulted. Like so many women and men, I didn't trust the system at the time," she said. "I blamed myself. I was ashamed and confused," she said. "The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways. In one case I was preyed upon and raped by a superior officer."Ms McSally said she attempted years later to share her experiences with senior officers but met with "wholly inadequate responses". "I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years of service over my despair," she said. "Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again." Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York, the top ranking Democrat on the committee, said she was "deeply affected by that testimony".
7-9-18 Tattoo taboo: Spanish woman fights rejection by army
When Estela Martín got a black lotus flower tattooed on the upper part of her right foot at the age of 18, her parents were unhappy about it, but she saw it as a positive symbol. "I've always liked the idea that the lotus represents, which is that you have to fight for what you want," she says. But 12 years later, that same tattoo has left her fighting to save her ambition of a career in the Spanish military. In June, Ms Martín took part in a civil service exam to become a military psychologist. She had left her previous job, in a Madrid hospital, two years earlier in order to study and prepare herself for the highly competitive selection process. But when she was taking part in a swimming test that was part of the exam, an examiner saw the tattoo on her foot and told her she could not continue because it could be visible when worn with a skirt. Ms Martín understood that the rules no longer obliged women to wear skirts and, given that that the tattoo was not visible when she wore trousers, she argued that it was within the regulations. However, she says the examiner insisted that she could be ordered to wear a skirt and refused to change his mind. "I felt terrible, at first I couldn't believe it," she says. "The reasons he was giving me seemed so absurd. I left utterly distraught, I was crying." Ms Martín says there were several men taking the same swimming exam who had body art, including one who had a tattoo on his heel, but none of them were pulled out of the process. Another woman was withdrawn from the examination for having a tattoo that she had partly removed with laser treatment. "There were two things that bothered me," says Ms Martín. "Firstly, there was the personal issue - it was two years of my life all for nothing, so much work and sacrifice. And then, above all, why should men be able to have the same tattoo and it's no problem for them?"
7-10-17 'Comfort women': Researchers claim first known film
'Comfort women': Researchers claim first known film
South Korea has released what it says is the first known footage of "comfort women" forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War Two. Filmed by US troops in China, the clip was found by government-funded researchers at Seoul National University in US archives. The 18-second clip shows several women lined up talking to a Chinese soldier. South Korean activists estimate 200,000 women were forced into brothels for Japan's military. They are believed to have been mainly from Korea, but also from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Until now, the only records of women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War Two had been photographs and survivor testimonials. (Webmaster's comment: The Japanese provided Japanese comfort women for US soldiers stationed in Japan after WWII. The US soldiers were lined up for blocks to get into the brothels. The woman serviced up to 80 US soldiers per day. U.S. troops used Japan brothels after WWII)
3-20-17 US Marines get social media tips after nude photos scandal
US Marines get social media tips after nude photos scandal
US Marines have been given guidelines for using social media after it was discovered some had been sharing nude photos of female colleagues online. The advice encourages marines to behave responsibly when sharing marine corps-related material online. It adds that existing orders for the marines have "long prohibited" sexual or other harassment. The Pentagon previously said sharing nude photos was "inconsistent" with its values. "Marines should think twice before engaging in questionable online activities, and must avoid actions online that threaten the morale, operational readiness and security, or public standing of their units, or that compromise our core values," the new guidance says. It also warns against posting discriminatory content that targets a person's "race, colour, sex, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or other protected criteria". Servicemen and women were advised to report any questionable content. (Webmaster's comment: Think twice is really harsh punishment. What a joke!)
3-15-17 Top US Marine vows action on nude photos scandal
Top US Marine vows action on nude photos scandal
The head of the US Marines has vowed to hold service members accountable for sharing nude photos of their female colleagues online. Gen Robert Neller promised to change the Marine culture while testifying before a Senate committee. Last week, reports emerged that current and former Marines were sharing photos on Facebook and on message boards, triggering a Navy investigation. But female members of the Senate panel pushed back on Gen Neller's promises. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said that the military had not done enough to address longstanding allegations of rampant sexual assault and harassment. (Webmaster's comment: As soon as the news coverage fades the military will go back to business as usual, abusing and raping the women in the armed forces. This cycle has been repeated for years and years and nothing is ever done.)
3-11-17 Pentagon pledges investigation into nude photo scandal
Pentagon pledges investigation into nude photo scandal
The Pentagon has pledged a full investigation into a nude photo scandal hitting the American armed forces. Defence Secretary James Mattis said "all appropriate action" was being taken in all branches of the armed forces. The scandal began when nude photos of female Marines were published online by male colleagues. But fewer than 10 female Marines have come forward to make a formal complaint, a top Marine official said. General Robert Neller said he hoped more women would come forward to help the investigation. The scandal initially broke when current and former members of the US Marines were discovered sharing naked photos of servicewomen on Facebook, in a group called "Marines United". It reportedly had over 30,000 members before being shut down. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has begun an investigation into the practice in the Marines.(Webmaster's comment: And as before after the initial public exposure the male brutes in our military forces will get away with it just as they still do with raping female military members. The military protects its own!)
3-10-17 Marine nude-sharing ring busted
Marine nude-sharing ring busted
The Defense Department opened a criminal investigation this week into the posting of thousands of nude and private photos of Marine Corps women on a 30,000-member, male-only Facebook group page. On the “Marines United” page, active-duty and veteran Marines shared and commented on private photos shared by former partners, as well as images taken from personal social media accounts. Some of the photos sparked sexually explicit remarks, with some men urging each other to rape female Marines. Marisa Woytek, a Marine lance corporal, said she heard from friends that innocent photos of her on Instagram were shared on the site, followed by a long string of degrading comments. “I love the Marine Corps,” Woytek said. “But after seeing that, I wouldn’t re-enlist.” Marine Corps commandant Gen. Robert Neller called the harassment “embarrassing to our Corps, to our families, and to the nation.”
3-10-17 US military nude photo sharing scandal widens beyond Marines
US military nude photo sharing scandal widens beyond Marines
US servicemen from all parts of the military have been sharing nude photos of their female colleagues online, it has emerged. Reports last week uncovered widespread photo sharing by current and former Marines on Facebook, triggering a navy investigation. But the BBC has seen a message board where servicemen from other branches have shared hundreds of photos. The Pentagon said such behaviour was "inconsistent" with its values. Male service members use a message board on an anonymous image hosting website to share nude images of their female counterparts. They often first post clothed photos of female personnel taken from their social media pages, and ask if any members have nude photos, which they call "wins". Others then post photos. Those posting sometimes provide names and other details of women, including where they are stationed. Lewd comments accompany many posts.
3-6-17 US Marines accused of sharing nude photos of female colleagues
US Marines accused of sharing nude photos of female colleagues
The US defence department is investigating reports that a number of marines shared naked and semi-naked photographs of female colleagues on Facebook. The pictures were posted within a members-only group called Marines United, and were accompanied by vulgar and highly aggressive sexual messages. The group has now been closed down. "[This] is a direct attack on our ethos and legacy," said top enlisted marine Sgt Maj Ronald Green. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has also launched an investigation. "This behaviour hurts fellow marines, family members, and civilians," said Sgt Maj Green in a written statement. The Facebook group included around 30,000 active and retired male marines.
11-29-16 Canada army: Report reveals widespread sexual abuse
Canada army: Report reveals widespread sexual abuse
The head of Canada's military has said he is "extremely disappointed" after a national survey revealed nearly 1,000 soldiers had complained of sexual harassment over the past year. On average, three soldiers were allegedly assaulted or harassed sexually each day, often by a superior. Female soldiers (15% of the military) were four times more likely than males to report being sexually assaulted. Army head Gen Jonathan Vance said the findings were "regrettably sobering". Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan described the findings as "completely unacceptable". "We need to do better, and we will do better," CBC News quoted him as saying. More than 50% of the Canadian army participated in the Statistics Canada survey. About 960 Regular Force members - or 1.7% - reported being victims of sexual assault during the last 12 months, the report found.
8-6-16 British army officer charged with sexual assault in Canada
British army officer charged with sexual assault in Canada
A senior British army officer has been charged with sexually assaulting a female military officer in Canada. Lt-Col Christopher Davies, 45, was arrested following an alleged incident on 10 April this year, police in Ontario have said. The alleged assault occurred at Fort Frontenac, in Kingston, following commemorations for the World War One Battle of Vimy Ridge, on 9 April, police said. The alleged victim - a 52-year-old female officer - had attended a military function at the fort. She then allegedly went to a bar with other guests, including Lt-Col Davies. Police say she reported having being sexually assaulted in her hotel room in the early hours of the following day. Lt-Col Davies was arrested and charged earlier this week.
5-28-16 Okinawa base imposes curfew on US troops after woman's death
Okinawa base imposes curfew on US troops after woman's death
The US military base on Japan's island of Okinawa has imposed a midnight curfew and a ban on alcohol after the arrest of an ex-Marine suspected of killing a Japanese woman. There would be no "celebrations and parties while the Okinawan people are in mourning", the military said. The restrictions will run until 24 June. Police say the man admitted abandoning the body. They also suspect he killed her but have not charged him with this yet. In 2013, US troops throughout Japan were placed under a night-time curfew after two US sailors pleaded guilty to the rape of a Japanese woman on Okinawa. In 1995, the rape of a 12-year-old girl on Okinawa by US servicemen prompted mass protests. (Webmaster's comment: Why is our military there with its reputation for rape and brutality of both civilians and of our own women soldiers? I thought the war was over in 1945. Its been over for 70 years.)
8-18-15 US Army Rangers school to graduate first female recruits
US Army Rangers school to graduate first female recruits
Two American women have passed the gruelling training programme of the US Army Rangers - one of the military's most elite special operations forces. While the women will graduate from the school on Friday, they will not serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment. The US military has yet to lift a ban on women serving in the fighting force. (Webmaster's comment: 800,000 Russian women volunteered in WWII to join the Russian armed forces. They served as front line soldiers of all sorts. They served as fighter pilots (became aces), bomber pilots, tank drivers, machine gunners, commanded and manned anti-aircraft installations, commanded companies of men, made the best snipers in the world, and won 93 Russian Medals of Honor. So much for American male prejudice.)
6-17-15 Canada general sorry for sex assault remarks
Canada general sorry for sex assault remarks
Canada's top general has apologised after saying military sexual assault happens because of the way people are "biologically wired". Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson made the original remarks in a CBC News interview, to some anger. He said there were situations where military men felt they could press themselves on to women. Opposition politicians responded by lambasting his "backwards" view and calling on him to resign. General Lawson conceded that it was an "awkward characterisation" of the issue, and sexual misconduct was clearly unacceptable. His comments were not meant to excuse anyone from "responsibility for their actions", he added.
4-17-15 Four Royal Navy personnel face Canada sex charge
Four Royal Navy personnel face Canada sex charge
Four members of the Royal Navy have been charged with sexual assault after an alleged incident in Nova Scotia, Canada's military police said. The incident allegedly took place in barracks at an air base at Shearwater, near Halifax, on Thursday. The alleged victim is a woman not in the military, the CFNIS said.
12-4-14 Reported US military sex assaults rise
Reported US military sex assaults rise
Reported sexual assaults in the US military rose by 8% this year to 5,983, with nearly two-thirds of those who reported saying they faced retaliation.
4-25-14 Canada military orders sexual misconduct review
Canada military orders sexual misconduct review
Canada's military has ordered an internal review after publication of a report suggested sexual assault "plagues" the country's armed forces.
3-20-14 US Gen Sinclair avoids jail in sex crimes case
US Gen Sinclair avoids jail in sex crimes case
A US Army general who pleaded guilty to having inappropriate relationships with subordinates has avoided jail time.
3-17-14 Plea deal in US Gen Sinclair sex crimes case
Plea deal in US Gen Sinclair sex crimes case
A US Army general accused of sex crimes has pleaded guilty to lesser counts, as prosecutors drop the most serious charges against him.
3-17-14 General chokes up as he details affair during plea
General chokes up as he details affair during plea
FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, file photo, Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair leaves a Fort Bragg, N.C., courthouse after he deferred entering a plea at his arraignment on charges of fraud, forcible sodomy, coercion and inappropriate relationships. Sinclair, 51, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison at a court-martial scheduled to begin March 3.
3-6-14 US Army sex assault prosecutor suspended for 'groping'
US Army sex assault prosecutor suspended for 'groping'
A top prosecutor of sexual assault cases in the US Army has been accused of groping a female colleague, military officials say.
2-14-14 Senate Must Pass Reforms To Help End Epidemic Of Sexual Assault Military
Senate Must Pass Reforms To Help End Epidemic Of Sexual Assault Military
The way sexual assaults are handled in the military is a disaster - even the top brass concede this point. The Associated Press provided more evidence of that this week, adding support to the bipartisan push in the Senate to take decisions about prosecuting serious crimes, including rape, outside the chain of command.
11-14-13 Air Force anti-assault officer Jeffrey Krusinski acquitted
Air Force anti-assault officer Jeffrey Krusinski acquitted
The officer tasked with stemming sexual assault in the US Air Force has been acquitted on charges he groped a woman outside a bar in May.
5-31-13 Naval Academy Is Shaken by Student's Report of Rape by Athletes
Naval Academy Is Shaken by Student's Report of Rape by Athletes
An investigation of three midshipmen has gone on for more than a year amid growing controversy over military sexual assaults.
5-7-13 Obama warns on US military sexual assaults
Obama warns on US military sexual assaults
President Barack Obama has said sexual harassment and assault will not be tolerated in the US military.
1-20-13 Sexual misconduct a major reason behind military commander firings
Sexual misconduct a major reason behind military commander firings
This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair. Sinclair, fired from his command in Afghanistan in May 2012 and now facing a court-martial on charges of sodomy, adultery and pornography and more, is just one in a long line of commanders whose careers were ended because of possible sexual misconduct.
4-17-11 Australia military abuse may lead to payouts
Australia military abuse may lead to payouts
Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith has said compensation might have to be paid to victims of bullying and sexual abuse in the country's military.
4-15-11 Ex-UN inspector Scott Ritter guilty in sex chat case
Ex-UN inspector Scott Ritter guilty in sex chat case
Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has been found guilty of unlawful contact with a minor following an online sex sting operation.
1-4-11 US Navy Captain Owen Honors loses post over lewd videos
US Navy Captain Owen Honors loses post over lewd videos
The US Navy has relieved an aircraft carrier captain of his command over the production of lewd videos on the ship.
2-16-10 Women at war: how roles are changing
Women at war: how roles are changing
Helena Merriman reports on a woman whose experience of sexual assault, while serving in the US Air Force in Afghanistan, turned her into a campaigner for the welfare of service women.
7-23-07 Recruiter sexual abuse: friendly fire at home?
Recuriter sexual abuse: friendly fire at home?
As more women are joining the military, they are becoming the victims of sexual assault before they even take their oath. A former Army specialist explains the growing problem with abuse by recruiters and how the military is turning a blind eye.
4-26-07 U.S. troops used Japan brothels after WWII
U.S. troops used Japan brothels after WWII
TOKYO -- Japan's abhorrent practice of enslaving women to provide sex for its troops in World War II has a little-known sequel: After its surrender -- with tacit approval from the U.S. occupation authorities -- Japan set up a similar "comfort women" system for American troops.
3-15-07 Harassment 'endemic' in US forces
Harassment 'endemic' in US forces
The military claims a safer work environment but female soldiers say nothing changed.