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16. Sexual Violence against Women Soldiers on the Rise and under Wraps

The 2005 death of US Army Private LaVena Johnson, officially ruled suicide by the Department of Defense, in fact exemplifies the sexual violence that female soldiers encounter while serving their country. Johnson’s autopsy revealed wounds inconsistent with suicide, including chemical burns that many believe were intended to destroy DNA evidence of rape. The Pentagon has tried to intimidate reporters and editors working on stories about Johnson. Johnson’s case is among at least twenty where female soldiers have died under suspicious circumstances. The mysterious deaths coincide with an increase in sexual violence against women in the military. According to the Department of Defense, in 2010, there were 3,158 total reports of sexual assault in the military. The DOD estimates that this number represents only 13.5 percent of the actual assaults, making the total number of military rapes and sexual assaults in excess of 19,000 for the year.

Censored News Cluster: Women and Gender, Race and Ethnicity

John Lasker, “Sexual Violence Against Women in the US Military: The Search for Truth and Justice,” Toward Freedom, July 14, 2011, http://www.towardfreedom.com/women/2474-sexual-violence-against-women-in-the-us-military-the-search-for-truth-and-justice.

http://www.mediafreedominternational.org/2011/08/27/sexual-violence-against-women-soldiers-on-the-rise-and-under-wraps/

Student Researcher: Taylor Falbisaner (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

  • John Lasker October 21, 2012

    When I was 19 and a student at Ohio State — about 20 years ago! — I presented Project Censored for a project as being what I felt was best in news reporting. This is a dream come true, thanks!

  • John Lasker October 21, 2012

    When I was 19 and a student at Ohio State — about 20 years ago! — I presented Project Censored for a project as being what I felt was best in news reporting. This is a dream come true, thanks!

  • chizeled August 15, 2013

    The U.S. military saves money by diagnosing soldiers who have PTSD with personality disorders. Soldiers with PTSD are honorably discharged with full benefits while soldiers with ‘personality disorder’ are dishonorably discharged with no benefits. Therefore, the military saves itself the trouble of paying benefits by rewarding its psychiatrists when they diagnose soldiers with personality disorder rather than PTSD even though both conditions have the exact same symptoms. Furthermore, research indicates that the military itself created the ‘personality disorder’ diagnosis in the first place.

    The military is now rewarding its psychiatrists who choose to diagnose female rape victims with ‘personality disorder’ because then the rapists can give their victims dishonorable discharges and not have to bother paying benefits.
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/14/health/military-sexual-assaults-personality-disorder

  • Jim August 15, 2013

    Military men have been hitting on and raping female soldiers for
    years. Especially black soldiers on white women.What else is new?

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