Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can I get your opnion, please?

I don't know if you have seen the documentary, "The Invisible War" yet or not.  If you haven't, you really really REALLY need to, ASAP.  But be prepared to be furious.

So it's all about rape/sexual assault in the military and how this is a very big issue. Stats are disgusting. The fact this issue continues to be swept under the rug, despite major sexual assault scandals time and time again, is enough to make me want to ... well, I don't know but it's very upsetting.

So upsetting I'm still fuming about it weeks after seeing the documentary.

I've decided to write the Senators who are at least trying to make a few changes to the system and seem sincere in their pursuit of justice for the victims.  Will you please read the letter below and tell me if you think this makes any kind of point at all? I would like to send it to the Senators who are sponsoring bills as an encouragement to not let this die. Even if it doesn't pass, keep fighting this fight!

Please leave me feedback on it before I start firing off letters tomorrow. I want to be professional but passionate, not rabid and crazy.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  This particular letter is for Senator McCaskill - I'll have to research each one of the others to make it specific to them.  Thanks!!!

Dear Senator McCaskill:

While I realize I am not one of your constituents, I am writing to thank you for your efforts in protecting our men and women in the military.  Please, do not give up this fight.  After watching “The Invisible War” documentary, I am disgusted at how those most vulnerable have been treated like criminals themselves while too often their predators received no punishment.

In an Huffington Post article in 2011, you cited 8% of sexual assaults investigated in the military are prosecuted compared to 40% in the civilian world.  Even more distressing is this only reflects those cases investigated and does not account for the thousands assaults not reported or reported and not investigated. One in three women in the military are victims of sexual assault - double the civilian rates. Yet a small fraction of these predators ever see justice; some even see promotions and awards.

While the statistics are haunting, the image of a young woman featured in the documentary, who called her father and told him she was “no longer a virgin” due to being raped is the one I cannot possibly get out of my head. I want to meet the father who tells his daughter, “Well sorry, sugar, but that is an occupational hazard to being in the United States military. Suck it up, Buttercup.”  which is basically, what the courts have told the women who dared to bring a lawsuit to their doors concerning sexual assault in the military. 

Obviously, our current system is badly broken and causing life-long repercussions to those thousands who are assaulted each year. Please stay strong and be their voice.  Fight for them. Continue to stand up to the “good-ol’-boy” mentality and keep this issue on the front burner. We need you and others like you to be brave for those who protect us.  Thank you for the work you have already done on this matter; you and those standing with you are making a difference.


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