Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rape: in US Military, and in Bangladesh

1/3rd of Women in US Military Raped
Newsjunkie: According to NPR, 'In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.'

The BBC recently reported on The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by Helen Benedict... Army specialist Chantelle Henneberry spoke of some of her experiences in Iraq, 'Everybody's supposed to have a battle buddy in the army, and females are supposed to have one to go to the latrines with, or to the showers -- that's so you don't get raped by one of the men on your own side. But because I was the only female there, I didn't have a battle buddy. My battle buddy was my gun and my knife.'

Another study concluded that 90% of all women serving are sexually harassed. Another one estimates that 90% of the rapes do not get reported... In 2008, 62% of those that were convicted of sexual assault or rape received very lenient punishments... This problem is not confined to the US military. This abuse is rampant among private defense contractors.

The Daily Star (Lebanon): Eight months after being raped, a 16-year-old... had to receive 101 lashes as 'punishment.' A village arbitration found her guilty... but amazingly left alleged rapist Enamul Mia, 20, untouched. The arbitration also fined the victim's father and issued another fatwa that her family would be forced into isolation if he failed to pay up...

Family sources said said Enamul Mia of Gabbari used to tease the girl on her way to high school. He raped her April last year. Fearing the shame, the girl did not disclose the incident. The girl's family had married her off to a man of neighboring village but after a month into the marriage medical test discovered she was seven months pregnant. She was divorced and she had to live at her father's place after an abortion...

At one stage of the inhuman torture, the girl collapsed and fainted. She regained her sense after two hours... 'Enamul has spoiled my life. I want justice,' said the girl as tears rolled down from her eyes... Neighbors spoke in favor of the girl and blamed Enamul. They did not dare to say anything against the so-called village arbitration... A team of human rights activists... will help the victim file separate cases against the culprits.
Image source here.