Female soldiers testified on Monday that they were recruited for a prostitution ring organized by a sergeant at Fort Hood in Texas.
The officer who organized the ring preyed upon and recruited young female soldiers through a sexual assault and harassment program, which he coordinated. The current trial involves a different man, who allegedly used the prostitution ring, and arose from an investigation into the coordinator, who remains unnamed.
This case adds to the growing outcry over the rate and mishandling of sexual abuse cases in the U.S. military. Reports of sexual assault in the military increased by a whopping 36 percent in 2012, but the vast majority of victims – 89 percent, according to the Pentagon itself – do not report sex crimes at all.
One-half of female victims indicate not reporting sexual assault because they do not believe anything will be done by their commanders. The Military Justice Improvement Act, which is languishing in the Senate, aims to improve the situation by taking prosecution of sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and giving it to independent military prosecutors
TAKE ACTION: Email your Senators to tell them that we must change the current system of handling sexual assault cases. It is simply not working.
Media Resources: Talking Points Memo 12/3/13; Jezebel 12/3/13; Feminist Newswire 11/7/13, 11/22/13