Military Restricted Reporting Does Not Put Rapists Away

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A picture of a hand holding a pencil eracer over the word "privacy" with the word slightly erased.Whenever a new report on sexual assault in the military comes from the Pentagon, no doubt it can be read about on many women’s rights and feminist or womanist blogs. I read how reporting is up or down, and how the Restricted Reporting option is the Best Thing Ever! to happen to women in the military who have been sexually assaulted.

I write about this because I was a military woman and still have friends who are, and I often get backlash about how I must not criticize Restricted Reporting or blame it for assisting in the culture that allows rapists to go free. This concerns me, when I know that 9 out 10 rapists are repeat offenders.

Restricted Reporting is awesome. I sat through hours of training on it when I was active duty, and answered questions about it on advancement exams. It allows a survivor of rape or sexual assault to report the crime to the proper people so that she can get medical care and counseling, while maintaining her privacy, and without requiring her to press charges. Thus, reporting a rape does not necessarily mean starting  criminal proceedings. The assailant goes free unless formal charges are filed and he or she is prosecuted in a criminal trial or courts martial. In fact, if the victim is billeted with the assailant, they may continue to work together every day.

Read the rest at Change.org’s Women’s Rights Blog

Photo credit: alancleaver_2000

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