Military sexual violence is a term that encompasses any type of unwanted sexual act that is carried out by a member of the United States military towards another member of the military service, dependent, federal employee, or civilian. “Unwanted sexual acts” include rape, sexual harassment, groping, stalking, or the distribution or creation of any type of reproduction of a sexual act without the consent of the persons involved.

In the Armed Forces, around 80% are men and there are many men who do not believe that women belong to the Army. Data shows that more than 60% of men and women who report a sexual assault in the military may face retaliation. That retaliation is usually the end of a career. One in three women who report a sexual assault in the military are forced to leave their career within a year of reporting
After the murder of soldier Vanessa Guillen last year, the White House ordered an investigation into sexual abuse in the Army and this year, President Joe Biden created an independent commission that he gave 90 days to propose changes. within the armed forces.

The disappearance and death of soldier Guillén has become a focal point for the issue of sexual harassment, abuse and assault in the military. The Guillén family’s efforts to find her garnered the attention of politicians, celebrities and ordinary citizens, prompting many revelations from current and former soldiers about their experiences as victims and the military’s failure to adequately address these issues. This is a good thing. At a time when the Black Lives Matter movement has become mainstream, the Hispanic community across the country has embraced Private Guillen as their own, demanding justice for her. Again, this is a good thing. Like George Floyd, Private Guillen was from Houston, and Houston too has stood up and demanded justice for her just as she did for him a month earlier.

Those few minutes of abuse can turn out to be the most significant in the life of the person who was abused. They are the minutes that change the physical, the mind and the feelings with a single act that the abused did not have planned, yes, there are more important things, however, the victim is not aware of this because only the fact will be in her mind that she was attacked in three or more ways in her life. The victim may have friends who may move away depending on the circumstances that are being experienced. And one of the things that causes me the most noise is that they comment that it is something that over time will be forgotten just like that, as if it were a school issue. The victim can overcome what happened, but not forget it completely with the beautiful things in life.

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melanie corrales

8 thoughts on “Military Sexual Abuse

  1. many that face a trauma from somebody higher up in a hierarchy tend not to report it for the reason that they might get fired or forced to leave the institution. In many cases this is a good thing as they are no longer around the instigator of the abuse and in the case of the military have access to psychiatric treatment through the VA. In others they struggle largely due to the trauma they suffered making it hard to trust people in other professions.

  2. I think sexual abuse is one of the worst things that can happen to somebody, and to have that occur while you are serving your country and expecting respect and trust from peers is horrible. Sexual assault is nerve wracking and difficult to juggle when you feel you cannot report it due to intimidation from a higher up or losing your career and everything you’ve been building or working towards. It is disappointing how difficult it is for victims to get treatment and believed for their experience. It is also devastating how little change there is to policies to prevent and punish those responsible.

  3. I remember when this first started coming and making it public the people. I was heartbreaking and mostly unsurprising. The amount of information that was initially released was limited and very inconclusive. It was not until this heartbreaking story reached popular sites and media that it started to feel more of sense of how broken the system is in reality. The actions that military officials took is quite shocking. I would have assumed that being in the 20th century the discrimination against women would have ended or at least seen less. The actions taken by the President Biden, I saw them as temporarily and as a bandage to cover something that can potentially become bigger in the future.

  4. I remember when this first started coming and making it public the people. I was heartbreaking and mostly unsurprising. The amount of information that was initially released was limited and very inconclusive. It was not until this heartbreaking story reached popular sites and media that it started to feel more of sense of how broken the system is in reality. The actions that military officials took is quite shocking. I would have assumed that being in the 20th century the discrimination against women would have ended or at least seen less. The actions taken by the President Biden, I saw them as temporarily and as a bandage to cover something that can potentially become bigger in the future.

  5. This case infuriates me to no end, obviously Vanessa Guillen was no weak girl. She was not only strong and could stand her own but intelligent with so much to offer the world, with a bright future ahead of her after serving in the US Army. It’s terrifying to think about how women and men can be physically, emotionally and sexually abused in the 21st century by their comrades “fellow freedom fighters”, whom are all supposed to be protecting each other and us.
    How on earth does Guillen’s killer do what he does? It is the military’s unspoken culture to harass. YES! Either it be male or female, gay or straight, if you’re lower or higher rank, there is always a reason in this culture to attack/harass and damage another person’s spirit and position.
    After Robertson was caught, he ultimately took the cowards way out by fatally shooting himself, leaving his twisted partner Cecily Aguilar to receive the punishment due to her involvement. Which I admit that I don’t know much about her, so I look forward to hearing her reasoning for supporting her man in murdering and dismembering his innocent victim.
    This disgusting harassment and degrading behavior in the US military culture needs to end, why are we killing each other and what more can we do to protect our soldiers even while they are in active service?

  6. Hi Melanie!

    It is so disheartening to know that people assumes that serious situations like “sexual abuse” can be forgotten over time. Are people starting to give up because of the overwhelming crimes and knowing that there’s no realistic solution? Regardless of personal opinions, comments like these speak a lot about the societal acceptance/norm that “everything will be fine”. I think this topic really brought out the real world condition and unmotivated mentality we are surrounded by. Vannessa was known so her issue was quickly brought to the attention of the audience, but what about the ordinary people? I think both sides are guilty and are at fault for their acts. Whilst people shouldn’t make judgements like these, the government/military also imposed a limitation on their members’ actions. I totally understand why some women choose to keep it under the cover, because if it was me, I will also keep my mouth shut so I don’t get retaliated.

  7. It is infuriating how some people can disregard sexual assault as if it is not a big deal. Unfortunately, we live in a world where abusers can escape punishment, specifically high-ranked military members. Despite the tragic incident involving Vanessa Guillen, this will be critical in expanding awareness of the issue and guide for social reform.

  8. I completely agree with this idea of how being assaulted for what is statistically short, can detrimentally affect someone’s life forever. Especially in the case of women in our military, who have joined a male dominated field in order to give hope to other women like them and to fight for the safety of our country. Yet how are they repaid? By receiving disrespect and constant inappropriate comments from individuals they are told to respect and follow orders from. Thus, I think it is very important to bring awareness to such issues, for if we do not those that have worked to cover up such incidences will win.

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