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The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Under the Radar: an invisible war

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From World War I to World War II, from Desert Storm to the War on Terror, the United States military has been actively fighting to help defend the rights and freedoms of the citizens of this country.

Meanwhile, another war, an invisible war, has continued to wage on within the confines of the military itself since the early part of the 1990s.

Sexual assault has cast a dark shadow over the U.S. military since the allegations of the Tailhook Scandal emerged in 1991. Since then, the media has extensively covered a series of scandals.

After the terrorist attacks in 2001, reports of sexual assaults increased and the early warning signs of an unthinkable problem emerged.

In a 2010 Pentagon study, 19,300 service members claimed to have been sexually assaulted in the past year.

However, the 2013 report conveyed an increase to roughly 26,000 members, a growth of almost a third in only two years.

“No matter what, these situations must be diffused and properly investigated by the officials in charge,” said Zach Ullman, a sophomore at Grand Valley State University.

Countless accounts of sexual harassment go unreported due to the fear the service members have of the repercussions and embarrassment.

Not until recently have more and more members gathered the courage to voice their stories.

While reports of sexual assault are more commonly reported than in the past, the fear of false accusations must be provided with the same level of concern.

In the annual report conducted by the Department of Defense on sexual assault prevention and response, it was concluded that 47 percent of victims indicated they or the offender had been drinking before the confrontation.

We have to question the validity because alcohol is involved.

Statistics have indicated that the problem is, in fact, getting worse. The goal of the U.S. military remains to fight for the rights and freedoms of its citizens.

Undoubtedly, a very serious matter has developed, but new legislation will hopefully change the manner in which sexual assault cases are decided. 

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