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UK Military is Covering Up Their Sexual Assaults, Too

UK Military is Covering Up Their Sexual Assaults, Too

The United Kingdom’s military is sending an unfortunate message to would-be sexual assaulters within its ranks: consequences are lenient and infrequent.

Per the 2006 Armed Forces Act, the fate of sexual assault reports filed by members of the military are at the whim of superior officers. Rather than turning the matter over to police to conduct an investigation, a commanding officer has the discretion to handle the matter “internally,” if at all. These officers can also choose to take no action whatsoever.

Technically, the rules stipulate that this course of (in)action can only occur for “lesser sexual offenses,” whatever that means, but it appears that some commanding officers have even seen fit to disregard accusations of rape.

Though these low standards have been in place for nearly a decade, this miscarriage of justice has come to more prominent attention following the recent suicide of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement. Allegedly, a pair of Royal Military officers raped Ellement. When she reported the crime to her commanding officer, he informed her that there was insufficient evidence to pursue the matter further, and Ellement’s purported rapists stayed on duty without formal reprimand. Worse still, colleagues subsequently bullied her for daring to report the incident in the first place.

Feeling helpless, Ellement ultimately took her own life. While military regulations should have had Ellement on suicide watch following her rape report, she received no such support due to a clerical error. “[Ellement] joined the Military Police because she believed in justice and knew the difference between right and wrong,” said her sister, Khristina Swain. “That’s why it was such a devastating blow when she didn’t get it herself.”

With rules that allow military sexual assaults to go unpunished, tragic outcomes like this one are inevitable. Just look at the United States for an example of how military rule over internal rape cases is utterly ineffective:

Alas, statistics for the number of military sexual assault cases are practically non-existent in the United Kingdom. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether these instances are as a commonplace as they are in the United States or not nearly as prevalent. The very fact that studies of this type have not been conducted is indicative of a culture willing to overlook this problem. Regardless of how many British soldiers are victims of sexual assault, the relaxed approach to handling these actions is entirely inappropriate.

Currently, there is a petition addressed to the UK Defense Secretary, Philip Hammond, urging him to take military sexual assault cases more seriously. The U.K should not follow the United States’ poor example of keeping reports non-transparent and outside of normal legal jurisdiction that would apply to civilians.

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103 comments

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7:00PM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

awful

10:21AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

And this is a surprise?

11:47PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

This is so wrong on so many levels. I do not think the USA is any better. A few years ago there was a story about a military man who raped a co worker. Even though it resulted in a pregancy, the accusations were dismissed. She was forced to work with him while pregnant. She wanted child supoort, and when she was eight months pregnant he murdered her brutally.The military failed this women in protecting her and child. They allowed a rapist access to her resulting in her death. They should have been in jail, were he could not harm that poor women. The USA does little to protect women and rape happens all the time. These complaints should be made outside the military, so women will receive a small chance at justice. Personally, the law revictimizes women, and rarely get justice. White old men whom are judges give males breaks in everything. I think it is a good old boy club. Women are more educated, and make more money than passed generations, but justice is a slow process and has not been liberated in fairness. Ask any women who went through the court system.

10:49AM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

Thank you

3:54AM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

The first three years of a childs life generally determines the rest of its life. Till women recover and learn their Goddess principals and apply them to their childrem when they are born instead of handing them over to baby sitters while they run off to save the world from the crimes and destruction caused by children neglected by the lack of teaching from a mother following the goddess principals, yes there is a father who will care and support the mother,provide a home and security if his mother brought him up in accord with the Goddess Principles that most women have rejected.

3:35AM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

When men are trained to kill without feeling whats a little rape to them. Sadly women want to give up their feminine role of nurturing life into being and join the Military to take life along with the men but they have a problem playing the game when they are on the receiving end. The message here is loud and clear abolish going to fake wars manufactured by the bankers and their businesses for profit and e will see no more military no more rapes and surprise surprise a world living in love and harmony . What so bad about that.

8:36PM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

What we have here, is one 'grand' cover-up, by old white men.
It is all tied into the abortion issue, the contraception issue, the equal pay for equal work issue, and any and every; issue that these insecure men can think of.

It's all about POWER & CONTROL. It always has been.
They see women, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and the LGBT community, moving up the ladder, slowly, but none the less moving, into _their_ territory, and it scares the bejesus out of them.
The best place for them to start pushing back is with women.

It's totally amazing how conservative women can continually support the very people who are trying to subdue them, and bring them down
Is there a brain dysfunction with these women?
Where is their self-esteem, their feeling of being more than baby factories?
Someone stopped payment on their REAILY CHECK.

Stop and think about it logically. What intelligent person would not want to see people who assault other people, stopped and prosecuted for their crime? Do we only care when the crimes are committed against male persons?

8:15PM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

Outstanding word to me is TOO. Monkey see monkey do, let's hear it for the good old USA, leadership at its best ... NOT.


6:30PM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

And that's exactly why I'm sick and tired of all these TV commercials expecting me to help all these whining military veterans. After all, I'd only be helping out a pile of rapists. After all, if they'd stayed at home and tried to get a real job instead of running around the world bothering people in foreign countries while raping their female comrades at arms, they wouldn't be injured or missing limbs. These guys run off into wars that are neither here nor there except for the corporations who want to sell war material, commit war crimes right and left (including attacks on their comrades which is treason), and then come back whining about what all they think they've done for us. As long as people buy into their militaristic crap, nothing will ever change.

6:09PM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

Not surprising.

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