Ever Since the Revolutionary War, women have played a major role in the success of the US Military. Taking on duties such as laundresses, cooks, and nurses, women were not aloud to fight in the front lines but helped with making sure soldiers were ready for war. During the 1991 Gulf War, women finally served with men in integrated units within a war zone.
Women began to join the Military in order to prove that they can be on equal ground as men. Sexual assault and the mistreatment of women has been a growing phenomenon that many people are not aware of.
Sexual assault in the Military is defined by the Uniform Code of Military Justice as “when someone commits a sexual act upon another person by threatening or inflicting fear, causing bodily harm, using the false pretense that the sexual act serves a professional purpose, or preceding to be another person.(Article 120 UCMJ)”
Our current media in the last couple years is slowly but surely shedding light on what has been occurring between female soldiers and those who are of a higher rank, and even other male soldiers. Recent statistics leave many wondering why there is such a high rate of occurring rapes and sexual assaults but such a low rate of reporting.
Fear of job loss and retaliation is not uncommon, “Many rape victims find themselves forced to choose between speaking up and keeping their careers”
To stop this horrible phenomenon The Military Justice Improvement Act was designed by Senator Kristen Gillibrand and Senator Claire McCaskill “to reverse the systemic fear that survivors of military sexual assault describe in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them.(Gillibrand 4)”
With recent media attention through films, books, and news broadcast stories of this dirty secret have been slowly making its way to mainstream media. With more recent attention drawn to the problem, the fight to end sexual assault in the US Military is in full affect.