In the past, being gay in the military was considered a taboo that wouldn’t be tolerated. However, gays could still serve in the military underneath former president Bill Clinton’s policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which was established back in February 28, 1994. Summarized, the military would not ask a soldier’s sexual orientation while in return gays would not reveal their preference. It was eventually done away in 2011 under the Obama Administration.
However, the fact that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being lifted may have contributed to a serious situation. The Inquisitr wrote an article exposing the military sex assault scandal in which half of all victims are men and there are 38 cases per day. Now, we have an updated report that gives some horrifying numbers. About 14,000 men in the military were sexually assaulted and/or raped last year. The sad part is that almost none will ever report it.
According to an article by RYOT, sexual abuse in the military has become a widely discussed topic over the last few years. Starting with a 2012 report that found 26,000 soldiers have experienced sexual assault for both genders, the numbers have remained constant. From the repealing of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” over half of those cases are men sexually assaulting men. This was revealed in a report released by GQ last month in which most survivors are men at 54 percent and are more likely to develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) at twice the rate than they would from combat.
One of the reasons is that men are more likely to remain silent after the sexual assault. As a matter of fact, 81 percent of victims choose not to report the atrocity that has happened to them and it may have to do with the stigma in which society encourages them to be emotionless or “manly.” This stoicism is enforced in military culture.
Identities Mic also reported on the situation, specifically with testimonies of survivors. Brian Lewis is the first male survivor of military sexual trauma ever to testify before Congress and is the current president of Men Recovering from Military Sex Trauma. He even made it clear that the strong herd and pack mentality is why most men don’t report the assault.
“Outing a shipmate is tantamount to treason. Handling these things in-house ‘on the deck plate’ so to speak is the preferred way, and violating this unwritten code can still result in negative unofficial consequences.”
As for the stigma of how a man should act and behave in both society and in the military, David Lisak, a forensic consultant and board chair of 1in6 (a support and recovery organization), enforced that view with his statement.
“The stigma associated with being a man who is sexually assaulted remains so powerful and so pervasive that it is, without doubt, the biggest obstacle that male survivors contend with.”
At this moment, there are no real actions being taken to rectify this horrible situation. However, what are your opinions about 14,000 men being sexually assaulted/raped in the military? Do you consider the men who sought assistance to be “unmanly” or did they do the right thing in which the parties responsible should be punished for their crime? Please let everyone know in the comments below.
[Image via Bing]