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Review: Sarah L Blum Women Under Fire Abuse in the Military

By Remy Benoit

Women Under Fire Abuse in the Military.

Rape is rape, no matter where it is, and should be treated as such by the chain of command, June 27, 2014

She as raped by 17 brothers in arms and the doc told her that made her a nymphomaniac and he could get her a discharge.

WWII:Rape. “If you tell anyone who did this to you, we will all rape you.”

Another, and thousands of others, were told to forget it for the good of the service, and their own careers.
The victims were/are told this, despite the rape, the beatings, being bloodied, having had chemicals poured on them to cover the evidence—the list goes on and on right to the help that should be there, is not there. In so many instances rape, abuse are denied; promotions denied; threats, and more beatings and ostracism measured out—physically, psychologically, and spiritually. And murder is suspected in some cases by parents not getting answers.

Another, and thousands of others, did file complaints, were ostracized; and where exactly did the paperwork from their files go, and who removed them under whose orders?

Raped, gang raped, beaten, bloodied—women who wanted to serve their country; women who thought their male counterparts had their backs; women who thought they could trust command and found out all those trust issues were founded on false grounds.

Is this how these men were raised? Is this how chain of command works: follow orders; only for the good of the reputation of the service; rape is okay, enjoy committing it, only the victims will suffer—for life—with illnesses, post-traumatic stress, issues of self-worth, and betrayal of infinite scope. And a huge possibility of dishonorable discharge with, of course, no benefits.

How will these men given carte blanche to rape function when back in the world? How will these men treat their families, function in their communities? Is there an off switch when they go back in the world? Check out the statistics that Ms. Blum provides for you
How will their victims function back in the world, often discharged, disgraced, without benefits, with a myriad of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual problems?

Where is Command; where is Congress, where is the White House that this atrocity goes on and on and on?

Where is justice for recruiters when they promise the world, promise careers and education of choice—all empty promises, shattered dreams, only to be backed up with misogyny, racism, and rape?

Something is deeply, inherently wrong in the system that allows, that perpetuates, this.

She, a collective she, asked to serve her country; she did not ask for this.

Ms. Blum's Women Under Fire Abuse in the Military is a wake up call, a copy of which should be sent to the White House, to all Senators and Representatives; copies should be sent to all the military academies where this could be addressed before active service, where rapes are becoming more common even before commissions are awarded. Copies of this book should be in the hands of every women's group; in every library reading group; available all over until the swell of indignation washes over D.C. with such outrage that forces positive action; that forces retribution to offenders, to those in command who bury it for the “good of the service”because it as far from the good of the service as you can get.

This rape culture covers all branches of the military, and yes, that includes the Coast Guard.

Oh yes, just to clarify that not only women are victims of sexual assault, the Pentagon study noted by Ms. Blum found that between 2002 and 2003 there were over 2,000 sexual assaults on men.

This is a very difficult book to read as the horror of each of these women who tells these stories overwhelms. Even Ms. Blum acknowledges that: suggests if you cannot bear the weight of each personal story, read one from each chapter, go on to what you can do about this horrific injustice.

Ms. Blum provides symptoms of Military Sexual Trauma and of Post Traumatic Stress so those of you close to women who are serving, or have served, may be made aware of what to look for.

At a time when women's rights to their own bodies are being challenged by politicians who feel they know what every woman should think about and do about their own bodies, it is imperative that all women and men—men who feel perfectly entitled to control of their maleness—should take a proactive stand for both civilian and military women. If such negative behavior is swept under the rug in the military such thinking must needs transfer to civilian life and pose threats to both families and women in general.

When a woman in the service says that the military is perfect for the rapist as he is not punished, you know we have a problem, a very serious problem that needs national attention and correction. Ms. Blum offers guidelines on how to rectify this horrid situation. We all need to attend to them.

At a time when we are FINALLY addressing what is wrong with the VA, we must also address this rampaging violation of our women who try to serve their country. To do less, to do less, is simply unacceptable. Start here, today with Ms. Blum's book; find the righteous indignation you need to be pro-active in saying THIS MUST BE STOPPED NOW holding those who permit it responsible and demanding they pay the price for allowing it. Demand change of all that needs to be changed in the chain of command to end this travesty; demand the services women who have been violated be made available to them. Ms. Blum spells it all out. Read, learn, act. And teach your sons well.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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