Sexual Violence Among Children On Base

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The Senate has ordered an independent evaluation of how the Defense Dept. deals with child sexual violence on military bases [1].  This follows an Associated Press investigation which exposed multiple failures, in instances with underage victims and assailants [2].

The US Armed Forces have attempted to come to terms with the rape of female soldiers for the past 10 years.  But reports of rape and sexual assault among children on base often die a slow death, under mountains of paperwork and red tape.  Some are deliberately buried.

The Defense Dept. does not, it seems, even track such reports for statistical purposes.  The Associated Press, however, managed to uncover nearly 600 cases between 2007-2018.

As in the world at large, these rapes and assaults occur at home, in school, on playgrounds, at food courts, and in public bathrooms.

Although tens of thousands of children live on military bases while their parents serve this country, the Dept. of Justice is not properly equipped to address cases involving minors.  So it studiously ignores them.  Only 1 in 7 cases is ever prosecuted.  Underage assailants receive neither treatment nor punishment.  Victims are denied so much as a hearing.

Military child abuse experts do exist.  However, their focus is on parents and caregivers.

[1]  Washington Post (Associated Press), “Senate orders Pentagon to review child-on-child sex abuse” by Justin Pritchard and Reese Dunklin, 5/25/18, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/senate-orders-pentagon-to-review-child-on-child-sex-abuse/2018/05/25/99c43442-6072-11e8-b656-236c6214ef01_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.04a5a229cd98.

[2]  PBS (Associated Press), “US military fails to protect children from sexual abuse on bases, AP reports” by Justin Pritchard and David Rising, et al, 3/13/18, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/u-s-military-fails-to-protect-children-from-sexual-abuse-on-bases-ap-reports.

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12 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Molestation, Justice, Law, Rape, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

12 responses to “Sexual Violence Among Children On Base

  1. Interestting. I don’t recall this being unusually serious in the years I lived on bases. In fact, I don’t know of a single case. Of course, the service members themselves might really not know, as they tend to be gone so much.

    • I think it’s difficult for us to gauge, in society at large. Sexual abuse and sexual violence were once upon a time deliberately hidden. Though they have become more public, we cannot accurately access whether their frequency is increasing. I cannot help but believe that the violence in video games plays a role.

  2. I believe there is a lot of covering up..
    Like the strange death of Nancy Schaefer and her husband..
    My heart breaks for the children who are not protected..

  3. I’ve read that a men in the military are also victims of sexual assault. I wonder if that is mostly gay men? http://sapr.mil/public/docs/reports/FY16_Annual/FY16_SAPRO_Annual_Report.pdf

    • That’s a good point, Chris. I know that the rape of female service members has been a real concern. I personally knew one such victim. The long-term impact of rape by her fellow service members and the military’s failure to take corrective action on her behalf was devastating.

  4. One can only imagine the magnitude of the effort that goes into hiding cases of child sexual abuse on these posts. If what happens to adult women is any indicator, a helpless child is just that: helpless. My late brother spent nearly 24 years living on Air Force bases all over the planet, and he would be the first to tell you that a military base is no place for a family, especially one with children.

  5. No kidding, I knew about sexual miscunduct to put it mildly about guys and girls, now you got pedofiles? Having served in the army, spanish one, kind of strange and freaky to read this

  6. This is terrible! They never mention these things on the commercials when they’re trying to get you to sign up. This world is truly wicked. I have hope that soon God will rid this world of all of its wickedness (Psalms 37:10,11). Until then, we really need to do better with protecting our children.

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