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Rape Monday June 3, 2013

RAPE

I know that women are treated as second class citizens in certain countries. But I thought America was the land of equality. That women were considered equals to men.

So how can we explain the fact that sexual assaults against women in the military number in the tens of thousands? And to make matters worse, it seems from the testimony of some of the women, that commanding officers prefer brushing charges of sexual assault under the table, to protecting the victims and punishing perpetrators.

This isn't just an American issue. Similar stories have come out from the armed forces in the UK, Canada, and wherever women serve their country in uniform.

Rape is a heinous crime. Imagine, as a male, how you would feel if you were sodomized against your will. What would it do to you mentally and physically to be brutalized like that? To have all control over your own body taken away from you? And if you can imagine the horror of such an act, how can the men in our society stand by and allow it to happen to the women in our society in such large numbers?

Do you know that the average penalty for bank robbery in Canada is 5 years imprisonment, but the average penalty for rape is just two years? Did you know that currently, US military commanding officers have the authority to set aside court-martial convictions, and allow convicted rapists to continue their military career unpunished?

This needs to change. Rape in the military, must not be soft-pedaled. The penalties must be severe and career-ending. Significant prison time, followed by dishonorable discharge. Fortunately, US lawmakers are finally moving to make that happen. But we have to continue to pressure them to increase penalties for sexual assault in all situations, not just the military.

The entire culture around rape needs to change. The courts need to treat it as the violent crime it is, and sentence accordingly. That means harshly. There need to be severe penalties, both for those who commit it, and for those who facilitate or shield the perpetrators. Courts do it for bank robbery, so surely it can be done for women - your daughters, wives, mothers, and sisters.