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Essay on Military Sexual Assault: The Invisible War by T.K. Barwlow

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Throughout history, the United States Military has faced numerous scandals. From its role in the Vietnam War, to the Iran-Contra Affair, to the Iraq War, to the abuse and denial of due process rights to detainees currently held indefinitely at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the Department of Defense has undeniably raised many questions about its ethics and treatment toward both civilians and fellow members of the Armed Forces alike. One recent scandal, which would now appear to be becoming the standard, is that of sexual assault within the military. However, due to a campaign of awareness, grassroots activism, and pressuring elected officials to do what is right, things are now beginning to change.
It can, and has, been argued that the military justice system is flawed. In the civilian world, when a person is sexually assaulted, they can report it to the proper authorities and have the matter investigated promptly. In the military, one is bound to a different set of rules when they swear in and take their oath. They are no longer a civilian, and are now bound to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. When an incident of sexual assault takes place, the victim needs to report the assault up to their chain of command, who then make the decision of whether or not to prosecute. This can take a longer time than it normally would for civilians, and generally produces a low rate of convictions.
Military sexual assault can be defined as unwilling sexual contact between one or more uniformed personnel, frequently associated with physical threats and/or use of force. Unwillingness refers to the victim not consenting to the sexual act being performed, whether the act is performed while the victim is conscious or unconscious,...


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... & Kirby, D. (Director). (2012). The Invisible War [Motion Picture]. United States: Chain Camera Productions.
Forman-Hoffman, V. L., Mengeling, M., Booth, B. M., Torner, J., & Sadler, A. G. (2012). Eating Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Sexual Trauma in Women Veterans. Military Medicine, 177(10), 1161-1168.
Rodman, L. L. (2013). Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault. JFQ: Joint Force Quarterly, (69), 25-33.
Zurbriggen, E. L. (2010). RAPE, WAR, AND THE SOCIALIZATION OF MASCULINITY: WHY OUR REFUSAL TO GIVE UP WAR ENSURES THAT RAPE CANNOT BE ERADICATED. Rape, War, and Masculinity. Psychology Of Women Quarterly, 34(4), 538-549. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2010.01603.x
Groves, C. (2013). Military Sexual Assault: An Ongoing and Prevalent Problem. Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment, 23(6), 747-752. doi:10.1080/10911359.2013.795064


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