Just another reason to bring home the troops
It seems that the horrible conditions and over-extended military personnel tours in Iraq are taking yet another toll on our brave men and women in the military. While I fully support the troops, I am appalled and disgusted by reports of rampant rape and sexual assault of women by their male colleagues. It is unfortunate that what seems to be happening here is akin to what long term prisoners call "institutionalization":
The term 'institutionalization' may also be used to refer to the committing by a society of an individual to a particular institution such as a mental institution. The term institutionalization is therefore sometimes used as a term to describe both the treatment of, and damage caused to, vulnerable human beings by the oppressive or corrupt application of inflexible systems of social, medical, or legal controls by publicly owned or not-for-profit organisations originally created for beneficial purposes and intents; or to describe the process of becoming accustomed to life in an institution so that it is difficult to resume normal life after leaving.From the report:
"The danger of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers without another woman for protection," writes Helen Benedict.If you aren't outraged and ready for this war to end, then you simply aren't paying attention.
Unwritten codes of loyalty prohibit some woman from reporting abuse that is taking place, says Benedict.
"My team leader offered me up to $250 for a hand job. He would always make sure that we were out alone together at the beginning, and he wouldn't stop pressuring me for sex. If somebody did that to my daughter I'd want to kill the guy. But you can't fit in if you make waves about it. You rat somebody out, you're screwed. You're gonna be a loner until they eventually push you out," one soldier told her.
Another soldier told Benedict she carried a knife with her at all times. "The knife wasn't for the Iraqis," she said. "It was for the guys on my own side."