Sexual Harassment Plagues Women in the Marines

Accusations of sexual assault and harassment against 19 male officers at the Fort Leonard Wood Marine training base in Missouri surfaced recently, bringing attention to the high number of women in the military who are victims of sexual abuse by their male counterparts or superior officers. Women make up only 3 to 5 percent of the total number of Marines at the Fort Leonard Wood base–a proportion that makes the women easily visible targets for sexual abuse or harassment. According to the Miles Foundation, which studies sexual violence in the military, sexual assault or harassment cases are most common on bases with fewer women. Women in the armed forces who are sexually harassed or assaulted often face a lack of support from superior officers. One senior officer at Fort Leonard Wood also faces charges for ignoring complaints about the sexual abuses occurring on the base.


New York Times Ð April 25, 2001

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