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Sun., March 24, 2013

Call police for all rapes

Regarding “Military sex abuse protocol ‘broken,’ victim tells panel” (March 14), one can only sigh. And then remember the most obvious parallel reality, with a few sex crime problems of its own: the Catholic Church.

With a straight face, we all decide that new strict internal procedures will lead to “zero tolerance” reform. But the weakest link in meaningful change is – you guessed it – relying on power-hungry men to regulate themselves.

The actual number of military women who have been raped or assaulted is estimated to be 19,000 or more, including the vast majority of crimes that have gone unreported. Women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier or commanding officer than killed by the enemy.

After decades of rule changes and litigation, we now have cardinals of the Catholic Church who are being tried for cover-ups of child abusers. Lessons learned? “Internal” procedures don’t produce change. Too many cronies have too much to lose. Military rapes and assaults should be reported directly to the police – just like we’ve forced the church to do.

Lucy Jeanne

Deer Park

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