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Rape Victims Say Military Labeled Them Crazy, Ignored Allegations

Posted on Apr 15, 2012
U.S. Department of Defense

In the foreground, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

According to statistics recently released by the Pentagon, the problem of sexual assault in the military is not getting any better. The annual report showed an increase of 1 percent in rape case reports between the years 2010 and 2011. It said 3,192 cases were reported in 2011, compared with 3,158 the previous year.

“The number of sexual assaults in the military is unacceptable,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in January. “Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to keep America safe. We have a moral duty to keep them safe from those who would attack their dignity and their honor.”

As if being sexually assaulted were not bad enough, some victims have been given a diagnosis of “personality disorder” by military doctors and then have been discharged, CNN is reporting. —TEB


These women joined different branches of the military but they share a common experience:

Each received the psychiatric diagnosis and military discharge after reporting a sexual assault.

“I’m not crazy,” says Schroeder, who is married now, with two daughters. “I am actually relatively normal.”

McClendon says she had a similar reaction.

“I remember thinking this is absurd; this is ridiculous. How could I be emotionally unstable? I’m very clear of mind, especially considering what had happened.” McClendon says. “It was a ludicrous diagnosis.”

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By bluejeanne, April 17, 2012 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The New Military? A new version of “friendly fire” __"friendly rape”.

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By Justin, April 17, 2012 at 1:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No one in the US military seems to be wary or even concerned about the mental health problems of serial rapists,just all of the rapist’s victims? Typical red neck ultra-macho bullshit, soldiers who rape are okay?,ordinary people :bad ,unfit for service. What kind of soldier does the US military want?

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By blogdog, April 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

lies make the premise:  “Our men and women in uniform put their lives on
the line every day to keep America safe. We have a moral duty to keep them
safe from those who would attack their dignity and their honor.”

the US military does not serve the US citizenry -
every corps in NATO is a virtual ‘hit team’ for enforcement of global
hegemony on behalf of the global finance oligachry - that behavior within ranks
barely differs from that of mercenary brigands should surprise no one

the oligarchs, plutocrats and generals should be made to enlist every one of
their off spring - at least then they’d be forced to show something of the metal
aristocrats of bygone eras at least pretended in raising armies lead by their

today’s chicken-hawk leaders are a disgrace to what’s left of military traditions
everywhere, regardless of the little ‘honor’ they can honestly claim

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By bluejeanne, April 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mment #12345 by bluejeanne on 4/16 at 9:46 am

Mrfreeze describes the hideous reality of war and the inevitability of violence and rape. During the Vietnam War the service MEN abandoned many orphans
whether conceived through rape or by casual sexual relations with willing Vietnamese women ( a.k.a. known as “Comfort Women” in other cultures such as the Japanese military in their invasion of Korea and China
during WWII.

In the case of Vietnam many American servicemen left the
‘Children of the dust’: Street children in Vietnam and children in extremely difficult circumstances (9789748968711): Ngo Kim Cuc, Mikel Flamm: Books

to pay the ultimate price of shame. 

The new involvement of the U.S. in Wars dubbed ‘Shock & Awe’ by the previous Administration in which the U.S. military has prided itself for including American women among its ranks who are physically serving alongside male counterparts; is a new circumstance in war-mongering but in some ways makes violence and rape “easier” especially when the population of women of the countries invaded i.e.(Muslim countries) are “not accessible” because they are, for- the- most- part “covered” and therefore invisible to the voracious and exaggerated violent sexual appetite.  Thus the volunteer women soldiers who are in such close proximity are subjected to a new version of “friendly fire” and the subsequent attempts of cover-up by the military Brass.

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By Marian Griffith, April 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Mr Freeze

Maybe a bit less blaming the victim here?

These women did not ‘ask for it’.
They did not deserve it.
They should not have to be worried about it either.
And their presence in the military does not somehow cause men to lose control of themselves to the point that they can not help but rape them.

So please engage your brain before writing.

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moonraven's avatar

By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

pundaint wrote:

“There is no Democracy in a country without Truth.”

More to the point:


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By bluejeanne, April 16, 2012 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mrfreeze describes the hideous reality of war and the inevitability of violence and rape.  During the Vietnam War the service MEN abandoned many orphans
whether conceived through blatant rape or by casual sexual relations with willing Vietnamese women ( a.k.a. known as “comfort Women” in other cultures in other wars) Children of the dust: Street children in Vietnam and children in extremely difficult circumstances (9789748968711): Ngo Kim Cuc, Mikel Flamm: Books

These new Wars in which the U.S. has been engaged
with American women physically serving alongside male counterparts; is a new circumstance but in some ways makes violence and rape “easier”  especially when the population of women of the countries invaded i.e.(Muslim countries)  are “not accessible” because they are for the most part “covered” and therefore effectively invisible.

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By gerard, April 16, 2012 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Behind all these comments so far is the shadowed issue of certain old-as-the-hills male/female stereotypes.  Stereotypes are maintained for centuries long after many victims of them know what a stereotype is.
  Stereotypes persist because the powers in control want them to persist and put emphasis on preserving them. Only education and strong pressure from those who suffer from the “overlording” powers will change stereotypes.
  What stereotypes?  Male = strong body, virile sexual prowess, ability to dominate, acceptance of force and violence, persistence until death, etc.
              Female = more delicate muscular structure, alluring sexual qualities, willingness to submit, self-protective revulsion when faced with force and violence, tendency to protect and nurture others, willingness to assist rather than lead,  ability to “win” by charm and persuasion.
  These opposites, when exaggerated through military training, for instance, blur the lines to the point where the urge to dominate weaker people (usually foreigners or people of another nation) is the entire point of the military enterprise. (Off-subject thought:  Perhaps that is why citing statistics of how many “enemies” are killed doesn’t stop wars??)
  Women naturally are apt to get lost in the shuffle, and naturally men don’t care much. Women who volunteer are obviously either ignorant or think “it won’t really happen to me”, or their own “desire to serve” (or get a job and earn recognition in order to establish a career) obscures the sense of danger.
  Men openly or secretly are apt to resent women in the active military because the contrast of sexual differences faces them (consciously or unconsciously) with the fact of military permission given to cruelty toward “enemies” and the part that plays in the corruption of their own humanity.  At the same time the denial of their normal personal sexual impulses in the course of necessary military demands can be nothing but frustrating. 
  Such “emotional cross-wiring” is confusing enough to make some “lose their cool”.  Yet most don’t easily talk about such feelings.  The brass would just as soon feelings did’nt exist, because feelings work against “business as usual.” And who wants to give up the special male privileges which the stereotype of “masculinity” maintains?
  That’s my take on it, muddy and shallow.  I could be wrong—but—disregard the general idea opened up here at everyone’s peril.

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By berniem, April 16, 2012 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

With the exception of those hardcore fascist tools who fall for all of that Amerikan exceptionalism BS one would think that the last thing a sane young person in this nation would do is enlist in an organization that has proven itself soley interested in raping and pillaging for the greater glory of our esteemed free market kleptocrats! Remember what Nancy said…“Just say no”. FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!!

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By oregoncharles, April 16, 2012 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

I see a problem with the original report:  why doesn’t it name names, aside from the victims?

These women undoubtedly remember who gave them the false diagnosis and who their commander was - in any case, it’s on their military records.  Why weren’t those names in the article?  Shame is one of the most important countermeasures to this kind of corruption.

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By BackStory, April 16, 2012 at 9:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Personality Disorder label is the military’s way of giving a final kick in the behind to people who no longer ‘meet expectations’.

A Personality Disorder(PD) is considered a permanent state, it cannot be acquired. When the military tags someone with Personality Disorder, in effect they are saying…geeze ooopppsss we just missed YOUR mental problems when you enlisted, but now we have caught the problem so we are getting rid of you.  This PD designation allows the military to deny claims for compensation for problems that really stem from time in service.  The appeals process for redressing this designation is LONG and often not successful.

The future employment downside is massive.  An employer who has access to the discharge records of a veteran can find out about that Personality Disorder tag, employers are not fond of hiring people who have Personality Disorders so in this job market, that’s just one more thing that the vet has to worry about.  Google Personality Disorder and read about what that diagnosis means.

PTSD and TBI were often “diagnosed” as Personality Disorder.  Recently, outside professionals have made a public enough stink to make that designation less used for those who have experienced mental and physical trauma as a result of time in service. 

Now, malingering or conduct unbecoming are the operational reasons for discharging (with lowered or no benefits) those who have become square pegs in the military’s round hole world, even those with multiple tours in combat zones.  If you can no longer suck up and carry on, you are on the road to a bad narrative on your discharge paperwork.

The game seems to be, get them out with as few benefits as is possible and make their life on the outside as difficult as possible.  The line command reasoning seems to go along the lines of ...well, I’m sane and look at all I’ve been through, what’s wrong with you, you pansy A**ed sissy??

The reality seems to me to be, the people who stay in and those in charge are much sicker mentally than those who have the sense and ability to get out.

Another case of punishing the victims and rewarding the perpetrators.

With sexual assault it is even more old boys club obvious.  You destroy the career of the victim and you promote the perpetrator (who has made his bones) out of that command and into a new zone of opportunity.

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By pundaint, April 16, 2012 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

There is no Democracy in a country without Truth.

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By mrfreeze, April 16, 2012 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

With respect (I really mean this) - Where do women think they’re headed when they “volunteer” to join the armed forces?

The military is all about raping, pillaging, domination, violence, murder, brutality and sociopathy…...all wrapped up in nice uniforms, speeches about freedom and democracy and protecting “the homeland.” And the men who join the military (just like the jocks in high school) are all about the violence of it all. It’s all about subjugation and control and ultimately getting the best trim at school.

I grew up around the military. Thankfully, I was in a position to be at arm’s-length from the chaos that many military families live with. I know most enlistees want to the right thing, but the military isn’t about doing the right thing: it’s about legalized violence and murder. If one expects to be treated as “an equal” there as a woman…......................

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By DonSchneider, April 16, 2012 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

Oh, and in case you hadn’t given it much thought, todays “All Volunteer Military” is
a reflection of an “All Corporate Society” . Why should we expect different behavior
from the segment of society charged with protecting itself , than the behavior we
have come to accept from this “All Corporate Society”  ?
        America can no longer afford the wealthy !

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By DonSchneider, April 16, 2012 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

The all Volunteer Military is the PROBLEM here. The military has always had an
official “CYA” policy towards itself.  The all Volunteer status brought with it a
necessity to “duck and cover” and at all costs , preserve the unity and integrity
of this “system”!  Gone are the civilian connection the soldier had with the folks
back home (and recourse outside the “chain of command” (chain of demand))
with today’s Volunteer forces. No adult supervision, and the false diagnostics
tools is another “CYA” mechanism. Any Vet with dependence on the VA can
explain the ramification of “loose cannon diagnoses” to anyone interested in
listening.  It is the ultimate “CYA” for the military used to sweep problems
under the carpet,when dealing with active duty personnel , and save the
Veterans Administration from living up to their responsibility of ‘Service To The
Veteran’ with regards to discharged personnel !  This dysfunctionality is
purposeful and inherent in the system !  If we go back to a National Service
requirement for ALL, WITH NO LOOP HOLES the “CYA” imperatives will have
built in controls. National service requirements need not be limited to military
service either !  America can no longer afford its wealthy !

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By DarthMiffy, April 16, 2012 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

A few years back, in my grad school days, I befriended a woman who
related to me the reason she left the very prestigious Air Force Academy:
as a petite, blonde, and admittedly buxom lass, she was under *nonstop*
sexual harrassment by the “fellow” soldiers she was supposed to be
comrades-in-arms with. She left when she realized her superiors would
not support her and that rape was inevitable. This is a great loss to the
USA and military of the contribution she would and very much wanted to

Perhaps this dynamic is just a reflection of the raping of world by the
American military, who after all, are the force of the American

I’m glad and relieved she left before she, too, became a statistic.

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By Marian Griffith, April 16, 2012 at 2:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is pretty much how the catholic church (and any large organisation in fact) reacts when faced with an incident where one of its members assaults or otherwise acts unacceptably.
Blame the victim, get rid of her (or him) quickly and quietly and pretend nothing has happened.

Considering the general hostility towards woman’s rights I can not see things actually improving anytime soon.

Getting into the government’s or Panetta’s face about the issue is not going to help. The problem is not government but a culture of violence, especially aimed towards women. Military units are closed off micro societies where the group supercedes the individual. That is the type of organisation most at risk for developing wide spread abuse, and most likely to get rid of the victim to cover up the bad name to the group. Until women are made part of the group rather than being considered a subservient outsider, they will continue to be victimised twice. First by the assault and then again by betrayal of their trust in the one point of external contact they have (in this case their CO).

The best thing that can be done at this point is for women to get out of the hell hole as quickly as they can, before the 10pct annual chance to get raped catches up with them. And let the army try to figure out how to meet the insane demands the politics (and voters) place on them without women serving in the forces. Because nothing else is actually going to change the prevailing attitude of machism, violence towards ‘the weak’ and closing the ranks against the outside.

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