harassed. Congresswoman Jane Harmon from California has donethe math: “A woman who signs up to protect her country is more likelyto be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”
And what about the perpetrators? Two interesting statistics: First,according to Helen Benedict, the author of three books about sexualassault, the military is waiving criminal and violent records for morethan one in ten new Army recruits. And, as Benedict notes, “Whenyou add in the high numbers of war-wrecked soldiers beingredeployed… the picture for women looks bleak indeed.”
Second,according to the Department of Defense's own statistics 74-85% of soldiers
of rape or sexual assault leave the military withhonorable discharges and their rape
do not appear ontheir record!
And how are the women dealing with this? The real question is howare
being dealt with? Apparently, over 90% of all females thatreport a sexual assault are discharged from the military before their contract ends. From the 90%, around 85% are discharged againsttheir wishes. Almost all of the 85% lose their careers based onmisdiagnoses that render them ineligible for military service. Thesewould be things like adjustment disorder, personality disorder andpre-service existing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These areconditions that would, of course, be ineligible for VA treatment after discharge.
And speaking of PTSD, out of every other type of trauma that canoccur in the military, sexual trauma is the number one cause of PTSD. Of the women who claim to have experienced MST, 40 to60% developed post traumatic stress disorder.
It’s important to note that victims of MST are more prone todeveloping PTSD than victims of sexual trauma outside the military.Why is this? Because the longer it takes the victim to get into safeand supportive circumstances, the more severe the PTSD. In fact,appropriate response within the first hours, or even minutes canmake a huge difference.
On a military base, this getting to a safe, supportive environment canbe a problem for a number of reasons. If the MST has occurred in the