Sunday, March 27, 2005

REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER (Democrat, from the Niagara Falls area of New York State) posts in the Friday, March 25 edition of Daily Kos about the announcement by the Air Force that it will not take any action against the U.S. Air Force officers identified in two Pentagon reports as having taken part in sexual assaults against female cadets at the Air Force Academy. Here is her public response to the news:

"It is reprehensible that the rights of sexual assault victims are so easily sidelined by the Pentagon as `too complex' to address. This is the kind of `head in the sand' approach we would have expected from the military in the 1950's; in 2005 it is an abomination. Where is the accountability?"

"What the Pentagon clearly doesn't want to discuss, and what all Americans should know, is that women are being sexually assaulted on an ongoing basis in the military and at our nation's military academies by their colleagues. Action must be taken. Until the Pentagon insists on accountability, there can be no real change and as a result, our women in uniform will continue to suffer. Is this the best we can do for young Americans who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom?"
Shakespeare's Sister has written a truly extraordinary piece on rape and its aftermath. She writes about it with great simplicity and in a very understated way, which has the effect of making her words that much more powerful. What I found most striking about her experience is what she has to say about the years after the rape. The intense loneliness and sense of isolation, her felt inability to convey the truth of her experience to those who knew about it, and her frustrating attempts to have her rapist held accountable, were just as awful, if not worse, than the rape itself, in many important ways.

But I'm not going to say any more about this piece. Read it for yourself.

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