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Class Action Against U.S. Military On Behalf Of Sexual Assault Survivors

July 26, 2010

Just got this news via the fine folks at CounterQuo:

The DC firm, Burke PLLC, is preparing to file a class action suit on behalf of those harmed by the military’s failures to address military sexual trauma. They are interested in speaking with anyone who has been assaulted or raped while in the military or by a member of the military. They plan on filing in the near future so if you know any victims/survivors who may be potentially interested in participating in this lawsuit, please have them contact Susan Sajadi at ssajadi at burkepllc dot com.

If this is you or someone you know, please do get in touch. Here’s some context, from playwright Carolyn Gage:

According to the website of the Military Rape Crisis Center, one in three women in the military will be sexually assaulted. Two out of three women in the military will be sexually harassed. Congresswoman Jane Harmon from California has done the math: “A woman who signs up to protect her country is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”

Over 90% of all females that report a sexual assault are discharged from the military before their contract ends. From the 90%, around 85% are discharged against their wishes. Nearly all 
of the 85% lose their careers based on misdiagnoses that render them ineligible for military service and ineligible for VA treatment 
after discharge.

This case has the potential to not only win some small bit of justice for the victims/survivors that have already suffered at the hands of an (at best) uncaring military (trigger warning on that link), but may also have a real impact on the way the U.S. military policy deals with sexual violence in its ranks, hopefully saving many people from ever being so traumatized.

(Cross-posted at Feministe.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jinxed permalink
    July 31, 2010 9:49 pm

    Concern for many of these women is that joining a class action suit against the military could very well mean the end of their VA disability benefits! Guarantee that they are safe from losing their well earned and highly deserved stipends, and you will have many, myself included.

  2. November 28, 2011 9:56 am

    Jinxed, I didn’t know about this at all, thanks for claryfing.
    I’ve just read this article: http://angryarmywife.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/the-service-womens-action-network-swan-welcomes-report-by-u-n-special-rapporteur-on-violence-against-women-urges-continued-focus-on-ending-the-epidemic-of-violence-against-women-in-the-us-milita/#comment-28 , it talked about the same issue.

    It must be very though for these victims to tell what happend to them!!

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