Military Sexual Abuse: A Greater Menace Than Combat

The most tragic consequence of self-protection from sexual assault is the deaths of several women soldiers in Iraq who died from dehydration in their sleep. Despite the 120-degree desert heat and little to no air conditioning, they stopped drinking liquids after 3 or 4 PM. They did so to avoid using remote, unlit latrines after dark because of the high risk of being raped by fellow soldiers. Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, senior US military commander in Iraq, ordered a coverup of this potentially explosive news, directing the reporting surgeon to omit in oral briefs that the deceased soldiers were women and not to list the cause of death on their death certificates. His attitude?The women asked to be here, so now let them take what comes with the territory.”

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