When mothers send their sons to war they dread them being killed in an IED attack or captured and beheaded by Islamic fanatics. Sending your daughter to war comes with a different set of worries: that she will be raped by her very own countrymen.
At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through “nonjudicial punishment,” which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of “insufficient evidence.”
It’s well known, and even stated in the report, that most sexual assaults go unreported. In the military I’d fancy a guess it’s at the higher end. The real numbers are probably staggering.