Honorably Discharged For Rape?
I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country. I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years. In that time I was raped twice and sexually assaulted another two times.
The first time it happened I was serving abroad in Afghanistan. After that first incident I was assaulted three other times over the course of three years. It came to happen so often that I assumed it was normal and that it must happen to everyone. I never received any training on how to deal with sexual assault in the military- I didnt even know how to report it.
When I finally decided to report the sexual assaults I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated.
I learned that there is currently no national military sex offender registry and that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers. A sex offender registration for convicted for military personal would help to address the impunity that surrounds rape within rape the military. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good.
When asked why sex offenders do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers.
This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military. Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service. If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.
Join her in asking the Department of Defense to create a national database for sex offenders.
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