Kirby Dick writes: The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing today on sexual assault in the military. This comes after months of revelations of rapes and other violent attacks at military bases and academies. At the hearing, the chiefs of staff of the military branches will likely admit that there is a serious problem and insist that the solution involves changing military culture. But the challenge goes far deeper.
The military has a problem with embedded, serial sexual predators. According to a 2011 report from the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault and Prevention Office, 90 percent of military rapes are committed by men with previous histories of assault. These predators select and befriend lower-ranking victims; often they ply their victims with alcohol or drugs and assault them when they are unconscious.
In my film “The Invisible War,” a retired brigadier general, Loree K. Sutton, describes the military as a “target-rich environment” for serial predators. The training and leadership efforts the Pentagon proposes won’t change this environment. It simply isn’t possible to “train” or “lead” serial predators not to rape.
There is a way to stop these predators: we should prosecute and incarcerate them. But here the military fails entirely. [Continue reading…]