I can’t help thinking that this:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sexual assaults by U.S. military men against their female comrades-in-arms amount to a different kind of “friendly fire” in the Iraqi-Afghan theater, victims’ advocates told members of Congress on Wednesday.
“While these friendly fire attacks leave no trail of blood, they leave many damaged souls in their wake,” Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, told a panel of women lawmakers. “They rob our country of the services of many we have trained and nurtured to protect us.”
is something of a poor choice of words. The thing about friendly fire is, it’s supposed to be an accident, or at worst the result of negligence. If it’s deliberate it’s called murder. The thing about sexual assault is, it’s not accidental. Thus the comparison is not particularly good. In fact, when I first saw the headline, I thought it was a quote from some asshole saying that sexual assault was one of those tragic, regrettable yet unavoidable things that soldiers would just have to put up with as part of the job.
Perhaps the journo in question picked up that particular phrase for use in the headline and it wasn’t emphasised, but when you’re constructing soundbiteable analogies, best make them a bit more sympathetic to the people you’re trying to fight for, hmm?
The rest of the article is to the point and the details are not pleasant
There have been 129 cases of sexual assault reported to the independent Miles Foundation in the current theater of operations — Iraq (news – web sites), Kuwait, Afghanistan (news – web sites) and Bahrain — but only 27 were reported to military officials, according to foundation chief Christine Hansen.
but I can’t say I was that surprised to hear that the military was apparently trying to persuade people that there was no point in complaining at all, by the straightforward means of making sure there was no point.