Sunday, 19 April 2009


Remember Jessica Lynch? Remember the hysterical speculation (1) that she might be abused or raped by the Iraqis?

Turns out, she was in as much danger from her own side, on that count. From the BBC:

Between 2006 and 2008, some 40 women who served in the Iraq War spoke to me of their experiences at war. Twenty-eight of them had been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped while serving.

They were not exceptions. According to several studies of the US military funded by the Department of Veteran Affairs, 30% of military women are raped while serving, 71% are sexually assaulted, and 90% are sexually harassed.

The Department of Defense acknowledges the problem, estimating in its 2009 annual report on sexual assault (issued last month) that some 90% of military sexual assaults are never reported. (2)

It is sickening - though not very surprising - that the soldiers are so ill-disciplined and misogynistic that they do this, or allow this to happen. But it beggars belief that the USA military can not protect female soldiers from violence and harrassment with in its own ranks.

1 - "Lynch book tells of rape by captors," by Rick Hampson, published by USA Today, 6th of November, 2003. (
2 - "Women at war face sexual violence," unattributed BBC article, 17th of April, 2009. (

1 comment:

Paul said...

That is astonishing. If you are a woman who serves in the military, you have a one-in-three chance of being raped during your career. Women should be warned about that before they enlist.

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