Sex Crimes in the Military
There are facts and suppositions, followed by hype and speculation, that swirl around the question of sexual assaults, rape, and deviant behavior in the Military. Fortunately, actual facts and figures are also available, even if under-reported in the media. Unfortunately, some of the data is still presented in murky terms. Let's face it, politics and social causes do not always want to report the facts.
I have not weighed in on this issue previously, because I didn't have the hard data to provide a true assessment. Fortunately, I now have a copy of the Download DoD_Fiscal_Year_2010_Annual_Report_on_Sexual_Assault_in_the_Military (2) report on the issue. There is good news in it, but it is a very long report, 622 pages. And even at that, I contend that some of the data is defined poorly.
I have NO sympathy for perpetrators of sexual crimes. It appalls me that some that wear the uniform commit such crimes, but I also recognize that Our Troops come from all walks of life, and represent a small slice of the civilian population from which they are drawn. I find that the punishments in both civilian and military life for these crimes is insufficient, but also that the majority of Americans would not support the severity of what I do believe to be appropriate.
Also, I recognize the reasons why a victim of sexual assault might decide not to report the crime, or to decide not to pursue prosecution, though I wish that all victims would pursue prosecution to the maximum extent of the law. I know victims that have not reported it, that did not even tell me, until it was beyond anyone's ability to take the appropriate actions. I would encourage those that are victims of such crimes to report it as soon as possible, and to seek the counsel of a trusted leader if they are in doubt as to how to handle it. The NCO's I've known and respected have taken as dismal an opinion of the criminals involved as have I....