So far, only five women from the military and civilian personnel of the Fort Hood, located in TexasThey have dared to openly denounce the rape cases, as they were afraid of persecution by their superiors and rapists.
The reason that led them to break the silence and talk about it was the murder of Vanessa Guillen, 20, at Fort Hood. According to the results of the investigation, the young woman was brutally mistreated by her Army colleague in the spring of 2020. Guillen’s mutilated remains were found after a few months near the base.
This murder shocked the entire country. During the numerous rallies, people expressed their outrage that the base leaders were delaying the investigation and trying to hide the details of the crime. Family members of the victim claim that Vanessa was regularly subjected to sexual harassment. He paid with his life to choose to report it.
The soldier Maria Valentine he also dared to confess what he had suffered. He first told about it on social media and later to reporters at The Associated Press. In 2006 one of the sergeants abused her when he went to weigh her during physical tests. In addition, the same sergeant raped the military Deborah Urquidez in 2014. Then he chased the woman and threatened her. She filed a complaint. The sergeant was tried and found not guilty. Although he was transferred to another base.
Notably, cases of sexual abuse in the US Army have been around for a long time. According to experts, the main reason is the massive enrollment of women in the Armed Forcessays columnist for the Russian version of Sputnik, Nikolai Protopopov.
Women have the right to do military service from mid 1970. The first 100 cadets were accepted into the Academia Militar in West Point. Many soldiers in the Army did not approve of it, but despite everything there were more and more women in the US Armed Forces. They even held managerial positions and became generals.
But in 1996 in the proving ground of Aberdeen a scandal took place that seriously tarnished the feminization of the Armed Forces. The 12 instructorsSome of them generals received prison sentences ranging from six months to 25 years for systematically raping, intimidating, humiliating and torturing female recruits.
But it is not only female soldiers who become victims of sexual abuse in the US Army. For example, Sergeant Elder Fernandez, from the Fort Hood base, whose body was located in August, was harassed by his colleagues due to his complaints about the mistreatment. In May, Fernández denounced the abuse by a senior official after the sergeant-victim was transferred to another unit. But his colleagues began to make fun of him and humiliated him physically and morally. According to one version, the man could not bear the harassment and committed suicide.
The problem of rape and harassment has gotten so bad that the Pentagon can no longer turn a blind eye. A special department was even created to monitor and analyze statistical data on such cases, Protopopov points out.
According to the US Department of Defense, every year in the Army there are thousands of cases of harassment. Thus, according to the report, in 2018 there was 13,000 victims between women and 7.500 Between the men.
Most of the victims do military service in the United States Marine Corps, but there are also many cases in The marine and in the Ground Forces. In the Air Force the situation is calmer. The victims are mostly conscripts who consider such abuses news. The report clarifies that the vast majority of the rapists were drunk at the time of the attack.
Pentagon analysts are sure that this situation in the US Army seriously threatens its combat capacity. The problem could have long-term negative consequences when it’s time to prepare for combat or carry out military missions inside and outside the country.
The Russian columnist says that according to some experts the situation in the United States Armed Forces is also due to the abolition in 2010 of the Don’t ask don’t tell law thanks to Barack Obama, which finally allowed representatives of the LGBT community to serve in the Army without fear of retaliation for their sexual orientation.
In 2016 they joined transgender people. Currently their number rises to about 2,500 in the US Armed Forces.
President, Donald Trump, tried to radically change the trend and in August 2017 banned the hiring of transgender people. He justified it by stating the medical expenses derived from hormone therapy and sex change surgeries.