Link Roundup – Get it Together, Government

I’ve got a TON of Vagina News saved up, so I’m going to put together related links with abbreviated commentary until we catch up.

To begin, GET IT TOGETHER, GOVERNMENT:

– Reset the ‘Days Without a GOP Rape Mention’ counter and tell Todd Akin to put his shiny shoes on, because Arizona House Representative Trent Franks apparently woke up from a coma today and said, “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” Deja vomit.

By way of response, let’s revisit ‘The Worst States for Pregnant Rape Victims.’ 

– Next time you see your gynecologist (or anyone else’s) give them a hug, because this week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement castigating state governments for initiating an unprecedented number of bills aimed at restricting women’s reproductive rights. 

– And finally, the Air Force has put Major General Margaret Atwood (that’s a woman, for the record) in charge of the branch’s efforts to curb military sexual assault. Atwood is four steps higher in the chain of command than her predecessor, Lieut. Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, who was arrested last month for – say it with me – sexual assault. 

 

Sexual assault of women serving in the military

I could do 4 posts based on this one article and blow your minds with every one.

Some (really horrible) highlights:

– The rate of sexual assault in the military is double that in the general public.

– HuffPo calculates that “… a servicewoman was nearly 180
times more likely to have become a victim of military sexual assault (MSA) in
the past year than to have died while deployed during the last 11 years of
combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

– The Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
Office (created in 2006) estimates that there were approximately 52 MSAs per
day between 10/1/10 and 9/31/11.

– Only 14% (or 3,192) of those MSAs were reported, and by
the end of 2011 only 240 were brought to trial. 6% of reported cases resulted
in a court marshal conviction, mostly resulting in reduction in rank,
confinement, a fine, or discharge.

– SAPRO estimates that 90% of MSAs are committed by repeat
offenders.

– Victims have no direct legal recourse. Per the Uniform
Code of Military Justice, MSAs must be reported to the victim’s unit commander,
who decides whether to authorize an investigation and whether the case should
be prosecuted. When deciding how to proceed, commanding officers can consider
factors like how valuable the accused perpetrator is to the unit.

– According to the recently released documentary “The
Invisible War,” about one in four service-member victims don’t report an
assault because the person to whom they must report it is the
perpetrator.

– MSAs are subject to UCMJ policy, not civil law. One victim
was told her case could not be prosecuted because “sodomy was not a crime under
the UCMJ — forcible or otherwise”. If a case is tried, the judge, jury,
prosecutor, and defense are all military.