Secretaries of Defense Need to Stop Military Sexual Trauma Says Legal Group for Veterans
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 4, 2011 - More than one dozen current and former service members named current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as defendants in a lawsuit about military rape and sexual assault.
The group of fifteen women and two men, including both veterans and active-duty servicepeople, claimed that Secretary Gates and former Secretary Rumsfeld openly condoned policies that did not prevent, investigate or prosecute the perpetrators who raped, assaulted and harassed them while they were serving as members of the U.S. Military. They claim that the two failed to enforce the rules though the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
“The unique aspect of this story is that the veterans have filed suit against the current and former Secretary of Defense. No one should tolerate this behavior,” said James G. Fausone, a veterans lawyer who works for Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC.
The lawsuit accuses the Secretaries of Defense of failing to take action against what they call a “culture of rape”. They claim that several of the perpetrators were not punished for their crimes, and even promoted after they mocked reforms designed to punish them.
In addition, one female veteran claimed that soldiers who come forward to complain about rape or anything else are ridiculed or retaliated against without means to defend themselves. She said that rape and sexual assault cases are mistreated and are not subject to accountability.
A Pentagon spokesman said that Secretary Gates is working to ensure that the military is “doing all it can to prevent and respond to” rape and sexual assault. He said that Secretary Gates is providing more money, staffing and training to stop the crimes from happening.
There were over 3,200 rapes or sexual assaults in the armed forces in 2009, according to the 2009 Annual report of Sexual Assaults in the Military. This number, however, is estimated to account for only 20 percent of actual rapes in the military, according to the Defense Department, which believes the number may actually be as high as 16,150.
“Military sexual trauma against men or women cannot be tolerated in a military force protecting a civil society,” Fausone said.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- Florida airport shooting puts spotlight on veterans mental health care
The recent shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport has drawn nationwide attention to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and exposed the gaps that exist in mental health care for veterans. The attacker charged with the shooting was an Iraq veteran who may have suffered from PTSD. Esteban Santiago is the sole suspect of the January 6 shooting […]
- New evidence at Michigan base could boost veterans’ water contamination claims
Samples collected from hydrants could help veterans who were stationed at a former Air Force base in Oscoda, Michigan, get the long-awaited attention they are seeking from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for illnesses caused by poisoned drinking water. Veterans and their families were exposed to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in their tap water at […]
- Free mental health clinics aim to offer alternative to VA care
A new series of mental health clinics for veterans have opened in an effort to fill a perceived gap in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Over the past three years, the VA has been criticized for long appointment wait times for veterans seeking care and other shortfalls. The new network of clinics seeks […]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: attorney for veterans, lawyer for veterans, veteran attorney, veteran attorneys, veteran benefits attorney, veteran disability lawyer, veterans attorney, Veterans disability attorney