Soldiers Say Military Doesn’t Protect Them From Sexual Assault
A class action lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of 17 men and women service members alleges that the Pentagon doesn’t do enough to prevent rape and sexual assault within its ranks.
Living in a war zone is hazardous enough, but some servicemembers say that the military is not protecting them from rape and sexual assualt from fellow soldiers and superiors.
The military, in conjunction with the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, has also created a website designed to help service members affected by sexual assault, myduty.mil.
We speak with Panayiota Bertzikis, executive director of the Military Rape Crisis center based in Cambridge and one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the military. We also speak with Jessica Stern, an expert on violence, and Rep. Niki Tsongas, who has lead efforts in congress to reform the Pentagon’s handling of rape cases.
- Panayiota Bertzikis, veteran, U.S. Coast Guard
- Rep. Niki Tsongas, representative from Massachusetts’ 5th district
- Jessica Stern, member, Task Force on National Security and Law, Hoover Institution; author “Denial: A Memoir of Terror“
- Washington Post Op-Ed: The military must take a harder line against sexual assault by Jessica Stern
- TIME: Sexual Assaults on Female Soldiers: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
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