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Men Raped In The U.S. Military Speak Out

Men Raped In The U.S. Military Speak Out

Earlier this year, a group of former and current members of the U.S. military, all women, sued the Pentagon for ignoring their sexual harassment and assault by fellow active duty service members.  Now, a new series of disturbing stories of rape in the military are coming to light – but with these, the assault survivors are men.

Newsweek reports that the horrendous victimization rate of female soldiers – “women in the armed forces,” they point out, “are now more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat” – has started to shed light on the fact that men are also the victims of brutal sexual assaults by fellow members of the U.S. military.  For these men, the stigma around speaking out about their rapes is intense.  According to Newsweek, a study “released in March found that just one in 15 men in the Air Force would report being sexually assaulted, compared with one in five women.”  And this is despite the fact that the numbers of men who are willing to come forward have tripled since 2007.

The men who commit sexual assault are, according to analysts, mostly heterosexual, and the rapes have little to do with sexual desire; rather, they are a display of power and intimidation against service members who are newer, weaker, or suspected to be gay.  In this sense, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” may help men who are the victims of sexual assault on two counts – the notion of being gay in the military can slowly start to become normalized, and survivors can speak out less reluctantly.

And the assailants seem mostly to act with impunity.  One man who was gang-raped was told by unit commanders, “It must have been your fault. You must have provoked them.”

One man, who said that he was repeatedly attacked and once had a soda bottle shoved up his rectum, explained the feeling of isolation and powerlessness that came with the assaults.  “You just feel trapped,” he says. “They basically tell you you’re going to have to keep working with these people day after day, night after night. You don’t have a choice.”

Even with the repeal of DADT, stigma and fear of reprisals keep men from speaking out.  But the few brave survivors who are telling their stories can begin to end the horrible proliferation of sexual assault in the military, a devastating problem that isn’t, as this article shows, confined to women.

 

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110 comments

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11:40PM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Many women have no idea how pervasive globally male on male rape and sexual assault are today, and how prevalent they have always been. Growing up in the UK and going to boarding school at the age of eight, every single boy in my age cohort received sexual attention from same age or from older boys, that varied from consensual fondling to group rape.

Nothing new there. Such male on male behaviour has been going on since the dawn of time wherever you have males, young and old, congregated together: in orphanages; in boarding schools; in reformatories; prisons; armed services; police; scouting groups; churches; youth camps; etc.

Males almost never disclose to anyone that they have received unwanted sexual attention from other males, so the phenomenon is vastly under-reported, under recorded, and as a result hardly discussed outside the academic literature. Consequently, many folks seem to be under the delusion that rape and sexual assault (including unwanted sexual fondling) are crime perpetuated by males against females only.

4:09AM PST on Feb 14, 2012

rape is horrifying no matter who the victim is. we need our military people to feel safe among their peers. how can you trust someone with your life in battle if that person just raped you and then no one did anything about it. such violence among service members should never be tolerated or swept under the rug.

3:17AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

I'm afraid it shows an overall lack of disipline and respect that should not occur if people were doing their jobs properly. A system that discourages people from reporting vile behaviour like this is a flawed system that need to be up-graded and strict military disipline applied to the individual perpetrators, they should be put away for a long long time.

1:53AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Beth S, Rb and Jay and others look at the string of information below before pointing your Islamophobic finger at the others and LEARN.

There are idiots in every society this does not turn the whole people into feral people .... where ever they are they act foul.
You can not make friends like this with the rest of the world

9:17PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

Deplorable....I was in the military and while there were acts of wrong....well I cannot fathom this one. A unit is supposed to be a cohesive unit, so what happened here. We seem to have lost our way from the top down when we began to ignore the Geneva Convention...so why would we be surprised when others also ignore the rules....Deplorable indeed

9:04PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

WHY THE HECK AREN'T THERE CAMERAS IN THE BARAKS? DUH!

THE GOV'T HAS TRILLIANS OF $'S, BUT CAN'T AFFORD BASIC SAFETY CAMERAS?

9:03PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

ONE US MILITARY GUY, RAPED A 14 YEAR OLD MIDDLE EAST GIRL, IN FRONT HER FAMILY, THEN SHOT HER, THEN THE WHOLE FAMILY DEAD!

NOW YOU KNOW WHY THEY HATE US, AND I DON'T BLAME THEM! I FEEL THE SAME WAY AS THEY DO. SOME US "CITIZENS" ARE BARBARIANS LITERALLY!

WHAT HARM DID THAT VIRGIN GIRL DO? CAN YOU FATHOM THIS?

SOME FOREIGN OAF RIPPING YOUR DAUGHTERS INNARDS UP, WHILE POINTING THE GUN AT YOUR HEAD, WHILE HE'S DOING IT? HIS OTHER HAND CLAMPED OVER HER MOUTH. THEN WHEN HE'S TIRED OF RAPING HER AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND SHE'S LIMP AND THEREBY NO "FUN", HE SHOOTS HER, BAM!, YOUR SON, BAM! , YOUR WIFE, BAM!, YOU HE WAITS, GRINNING, THEN BAM!.

BLOODY, BLOODY EVIL PERSONIFIED!!!

EVEN A SADISTIC US "MOM" TAUGHT HER 8 AND 5 YEAR OLD TO KILL 2 MONTH OLD KITTENS WITH A BASEBALL BAT!

BEWARE, SOME U.S. PEOPLE ARE AS SADISTIC AS THESE 3RD WORLD COUNTRIES WE LIKE TO JUDGE.

REMEMBER THAT OLD KIDS SAYING "ALWAYS USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM", WELL YA'LL ESPECIALLY WOMEN, AND NOW SOME MEN, FIND A BUDDY TO WATCH YOUR BACK, AND BE VERY AWARE OF BEING CAUGHT ALONE. CARRY A WHISTLE & MACE.

ALSO, IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THE US MILITARY, STUDY MARTIAL ARTS, OR SELF DEFENSE FIRST!

THAT POOR GANG RAPED GUY. NOT ONE ASSAILENT, BUT MANY, I DON'T THINK HE COULD HAVE FOUGHT THEM OFF, NOT ANYONE THERE THOUGHT THAT WAS WRONG? AND THEY'RE IN THE MILITARY TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS OF THE US?

HOW ARE THEY PROTECTING ANYTHING WITH THESE BEHAVIORS?

WHY THE HECK AREN'T THERE CAMERAS IN

9:02PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

Bad apples spoiling the barrel. The military used to be a place, where your unit watched your back, but now, it's like surviving a maximum security prison!

Just like people don't trust cops anymore because they pepper spray unarmed people, kill family pets, plant evidence, beat injured cats to death to "euthanize it".

There were videos of US ARMY PEOPLE USING MIDDLE EAST CIVILIAN OWNED DOGS FOR "TARGET PRACTICE!"

The poor civilian middle east man it belonged to, was in the video, pacing madly about, in great distress, while "us army guys" shot it again, and again (laughing at each yip!), probably 13+ times before it finally didn't move.

The poor "owner" wanted to go pick up his now dead friend, but after repeatedly advancing and retreating, he gave up, clearly afraid he'd be the next target. He walked away in great distress shaking his head. The dog was an adult, what if the man rescued/adopted or raised it from a pup, and they spent every day together for years, until the fateful day they went "that way". :(


The army guys said they have a right to shoot dogs, because they might be "set upon" by them. You'd think they'd be able to tell the difference, between a snarling dog, advancing straight for them, and a docile dog, trotting placidly behind it's master.

THERE ARE VIDEOS OF SIMILAR US MILITARY PEOPLE, BEATING HARMLESS SHEEP TO DEATH!

ONE US MILITARY GUY, RAPED A 14 YEAR OLD MIDDLE EAST GIRL, IN FRONT HER FAMILY, THEN SHOT HER, THEN THE WHOLE

6:03AM PST on Dec 13, 2011

just another reason why i would never consider joining.

2:11AM PDT on May 13, 2011

Ernest,
WHAT do your "heroes" protect for you? Do you really believe this?

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