The high-profile military sexual harassment and abuse scandals that rocked Texas at Fort Hood and Lackland Air Force base are only the tip of the iceberg, report women who have entered into the military as their chosen professions. Roughly 6.1 percent can expect to experience some kind of sexual harassment after they enlist. This figure represents around five times more than the sexual harassment risk of an average working female in the United States.
The types of sexual harassment these women typically encounter run the gamut from verbal abuse to physical assault or even homicide. In one case, a military linguist who was sent to Iraq found herself being asked to engage in sexual acts with a fellow coworker. The same linguist was subjected to some of the men in her group trying to throw small rocks down the front of her shirt while they were bored.
Though the linguist's hostile working claims are disturbing, they pale in comparison with some other charges made by military females. Rape and violent assault are common suits brought against the military by victims. And retaliation for "outing" coworkers is notably cruel, violent, and vulgar.
Unfortunately, many sexual harassment claims like these and those that occurred during the aforementioned high-profile Texas cases go unanswered or unresolved in a male-dominated profession. Yet no person should be forced to endure humiliation or discomfort at the hands of another. The more women who step up and tell their sexual harassment stories -- or file sexual harassment suits in civil courts when possible -- the less power their abusers will have.
Source: nationaljournal.com, How the Military's 'Bro' Culture Turns Women Into Targets, Sara Sorcher, Sept. 5, 2013