I’ve spent the week listening to a powerful BBC radio series on “Women At War”. One of them focused on the issue of sexual assault on American female soldiers:
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who sits on the Military Personnel Subcommittee, successfully lobbied last year for the development of a Sexual Assault Database to encourage accountability within the Armed Forces.
“There are plenty of phone calls that come into my office of alleged assault of women by our military men,” she says.
“They are heartbreaking. Some women don’t want to go public with it, some have gone public with it and they’ve been drilled out of the military.
“I’m told that the statistics are that once you have been raped in the military you are most likely to be raped over and over.”
She says that not enough prosecutions are happening and that while the Pentagon is taking it more seriously, big changes still need to be made.
“Why is it that when a woman alleges rape, the outcome shows that the man who supposedly did this was demoted or moved to another unit? I want to know why this is happening!”