According to a recently filed federal class-action lawsuit, the Pentagon mishandled and/or ignored multiple complaints concerning acts of sexual abuse and rape in the military. This is the claim of over 12 veterans; the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs state offenses inflicted upon them by their fellow soldiers ranged from insults to verbal and physical abuse to gang-rape. Should they win their lawsuit, the Pentagon will be forced to change the way they approach soldiers’ sexual abuse complaints. That new approach would include putting a third-party into place to handle these abuse complaints to remove the influence the local chain-of-command has over investigating the allegations.
Being verbally abused, assaulted, or raped should never be tolerated in civilian life, let alone in the military. Not only are the victims affected by the crime, but the units to which the victim belongs suffer as well. Forcing victims of sexual abuse to remain in service right alongside their attackers and remain charged with protecting their life as a member of the same military unit is more than most rape victims can handle, and understandably so.
Sexual abuse and rape cause tremendous stress to the military. The problems lie not only with the disgusting and cowardly act of the rapists themselves but also the military’s response when it comes to protecting their own soldiers. Some victims are involuntary discharged for not being able to handle being raped, while other victims find their own units have turned against them in a misplaced projection of angst over broken unit cohesiveness.
Being in the military is an honor and those in the military should be representing the best this country has to offer. Rape and any other form of assault or sexual assault should never be tolerated or condoned. Those who are guilty of committing these egregious acts against other soldiers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and be prevented from remaining in the military or collecting any VA benefits. If the Pentagon has intentionally covered up or protected these rapists, they are just as guilty as the individual soldiers committing these horrendous crimes.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.