It’s An Epidemic
Alright, ladies and gents, let’s tackle this sensitive topic head-on. The sexual assault epidemic in the US military is no joke. In fact, the stats are downright alarming. According to a 2020 Pentagon report, a whopping 8,866 service members reported some form of sexual harassment or assault in just the previous year.
Now, let’s get to the extreme cases. We’re talking about incidents like the Tailhook scandal of 1991, where over 100 women were physically and verbally assaulted by military personnel at a convention. Or the recent case of Vanessa Guillen, a soldier who was murdered at Fort Hood after reporting sexual harassment. These are just two examples of many that show the pervasive and insidious nature of sexual assault in the military.
As for the more recent ones, we will look at Lauren King’s experience with sexual assault as an ROTC member. King was sexually assaulted by a male cadet while attending a summer training program in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She eventually left ROTC due to her trauma from the incident and now advocates for survivors of military sexual trauma.
“I had this dream to be in the military. … I felt like I couldn’t work toward those goals because of what I was dealing with,” King told USA Today. “These things still impact me today: Being afraid of guys or being afraid to get close to people, (and) seeing the worst in people.”