US Female Soldiers Raped
37 seek aid after alleging sex assaults by U.S. soldiersMuch more at the DenverPost. Also see Daily Kos and Alternet.
Female troops serving in the Iraq war are reporting an insidious enemy in their own camps: fellow American soldiers who sexually assault them.
At least 37 female service members have sought sexual-trauma counseling and other assistance from civilian rape crisis organizations after returning from war duty in Iraq, Kuwait and other overseas stations, The Denver Post has learned. The women, ranging from enlisted soldiers to officers, have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults.
...a Post series found widespread problems in the armed services, including flawed investigations, inadequate victim services and leniency for thousands of soldier sex offenders. Although congressional hearings were called for, none have been scheduled... Among the most disturbing trends, say the victim advocates, is a disregard for the women's safety and medical treatment following an assault. Women are being left in the same units as their accused attackers and are not receiving sexual-trauma counseling.
"If you don't even get the victim to a level of medical accessibility, how do you get to anything else, such as evidence collection through forensic exams?" Hansen said. "There appears to be a shortage of criminal justice personnel to help them, too."
The Alternet article "The Fear that Kills" includes reports of death.
Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.Tags:[Iraq], [Troops], [Rape]