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Military Sexual Trauma



Meaning of Military Sexual Trauma

The problem of military sexual trauma is one of the essential issues of the armed forces of any country. It is the sexual activity or assault carried out by a soldier against another one in the process of military service. This term should not be confused with the rape against the civil population of a country during a war or military occupation. Sexual trauma in the army is widespread in the countries where military service is also permissible for women as in the majority of cases this crime is committed against female soldiers.

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At the same time, the problem of homosexual military trauma is widespread in the armies of the countries where exists a phenomenon of subordinating humiliating activities against the newcomers. Military sexual trauma may cause severe mental and physical complications. The paper aims at the investigation into the problem of military trauma and suggests the way of reduction of assault cases and their negative consequences.

Military Sexual Trauma Categories

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2015), this issue may fall into the following categories: unwanted touching, offensive statements concerning the physical appearance, threatening and undesirable physical contacts. The investigation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showed that 41 % of women and 4 % of men have experienced sexual assault or threat during military service. The research stated that the majority of victims are females because the U.S. Army predominantly consists of heterosexual male soldiers.

The participation of the United States in the recent military conflicts in the Near East has caused an increase in the demand for the soldiers. Due to this fact, more female soldiers have to participate in military actions where the stressful situation may cause an increase in the risk of sexual assault. This demand has also resulted in the problem of inattentiveness in the process of candidate selection. Thus, the individuals who had psychological problems or minor conflicts with the law are accepted for military service. The behavior of such people may become another source of sexual assault case appearance.

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However, the real scale of this problem remains unknown. Many victims of the crimes refuse to provide information on the cases of military sexual trauma since they feel shame or suffer from other psychological problems caused by the assault. Gayathri (2013) states that on June 5, 2013, at a Senate Armed Services Committee, there took place the review of the situation of military sexual trauma in the Armed Forces of the United States. This problem caused the intense indignation of the senators. They suggested adopting the law that allows the victim to inform of the cases of sexual assault without communicating with the direct commander. It is particularly helpful if the threat comes from the military leaders.

Military sexual trauma may cause many physical and mental health conditions. Soldiers who have suffered from rape are subjected to such disorders as sexual dysfunctions, depressions, and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections. The consequences of such trauma may affect a person many years later after a particular event occurrence.

The Problem of Military Sexual Trauma in the US

The problem of military trauma exists in the armies of many countries. In the United States, nearly 41 % of women and 4 % of men have experienced it during military service. To overcome this situation, it is necessary to create a legislative basis that protects soldiers from any sexual trauma. The U.S. Government should create organizations responsible for the thorough investigation into assault cases and the choice of individuals accepted for the military service. People who have experienced military sexual trauma should receive the necessary medical and psychological aid that allows for avoiding complications in the future.

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