In the past several years in particular, intra-military sexual assault and rape in the U.S. armed forces have been the focus of frequent media attention and intense congressional debate. Despite reforms, the rate of intra-military sexual crimes continues to remain high, as does soldiers’ wariness to report instances of sexual violence to military commanders. These problems and others have invigorated the position taken by some that outside judicial review of intra- military sexual crimes is necessary to provide justice to victims and lower the rate of intra-military sexual assault and rape. This Note argues that one of the primary contributors to intra-military sexual assault and rape is the gendered nature of the military itself. Given the nature of these acts, intra-military sexual assault and rape can be properly qualified as “gender crimes.” This Note also points out that this problem is not unique to the United States, as other militaries around the world struggle with intra-military sexual violence. Due to this widespread occurrence and international human rights laws prohibiting rape and gender-based violence more generally, this Note argues that intra-military sexual assault and rape should be viewed as international gender crimes in violation of international customary law. It is theorized that recognizing intramilitary sexual assault and rape in this manner can bring greater attention to these crimes and help push for independent judicial review of intra-military sexual crimes on the domestic level worldwide.
Sexual Assault and Rape in the Military: The Invisible Victims of International Gender Crimes at the Front Lines,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol22/iss1/5