Crazy, heartbreaking, and anger-inducing:
After the April 2011 attack, Ms. Messick completed basic training, following orders from the instructor for nearly a month more. Afraid of the consequences, she did not tell anyone what he had done. “How am I supposed to go about reporting something,” asked Ms. Messick, “when the person I’m supposed to report to is the person who raped me?”
While more than 3,000 sexual assault cases were reported in 2011 throughout the military services, Leon E. Panetta, the departing defense secretary, has said the real figure could be as high as 19,000. The Defense Department has found that about one in three military women has been sexually assaulted, a rate twice as high as that among civilians.
“It’s no mystery why they don’t come forward,” said Laurie Leitch, a psychologist who deals with assault cases in the military. “It is like going to your boss to report that you have been sexually assaulted. How realistic is that?”
19,000 cases? Are you kidding me? Seems entirely obvious that there should be some means of reporting these kinds of incidents that is outside the chain of command.
How can you protect the country when you can’t provide basic protection to those who are under your care and supervision?
The upside, if you can call it that, is that Ms. Messnick’s rapist is going to spend 20 years in the clink. But that, unfortunately, is a very small consolation.