"My jaw dropped," writes U.S. Rep. Jane Harman in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, "when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service." Harman (right), Democrat from California and chair of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, continues:
Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
Over a period of 2 years reports of sexual assaults increased 73-fold, yet there remains an "apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks." The minuscule number of criminal cases in the military
is in stark contrast to the civilian trend of prosecuting sexual assault. In California, for example, 44% of reported rapes result in arrests, and 64% of those who are arrested are prosecuted,
Harman writes. The military's "apparent lack of urgency," she concludes, "is inexcusable."
Kudos to the Congresswoman for raising the issue. Looking forward to her follow-through.