Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Elaine Donnelly's Take on the DOD Sexual Assault Report

[Content note/trigger warning: Sexual assault, homophobia]

The US Department of Defense has released its Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military (PDF).

Elaine Donnelly, that ridiculous lady who makes her living opposing LGB people in the military, is all over this report, rarin' to "connect the dots" between the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) and any purported increases in sexual assault.

Over at World Net Daily (where I will not link, so as not to drive traffic there and increase their profits), Bob Unruh has written an easily-enough-found article citing Donnelly, called "Now Men Are the Victims of Military Sexual Assaults."

The implications in the headline are odious enough.

For one, it completely erases the men who have been sexually assaulted in the military prior to the repeal of DADT. And two, it implies that now that men are being sexually assaulted we can start paying attention to sexual assault in the military. As though being raped is women's natural state of being, but shit's getting serious when it happens to men.

The article then begins:
"While the full picture remains far from clear, signs of the ill effects of the Democrat-initiated law allowing homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military without hiding their sexual preference are beginning to appear.
The newest reports for Fiscal Year 2011, have just come out, and Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center For Military Readiness, immediately noted that sexual misbehavior is on the rise. 
She cited the 515 rapes, 414 aggravated sexual assaults and 349 forcible sodomies documented by just the Criminal Investigation Command in 2011."
Unruh and Donnelly fail to include prior year statistics so we can compare these numbers for ourselves. They just claim that the numbers of these crimes are "on the rise."

Later on in the piece, Donnelly claims:
"While, since 2006, 5 percent of the violent sexual assaults have been against men, recent reports now put that figure at 12 to 14 percent."
Unruh then goes on to include several graphic descriptions of male-on-male assault. Just 'cuz, apparently.


Here's the thing.

Nowhere in this piece did I get the impression that either Donnelly or Unruh give two shits about victims of sexual assault, male or female. The piece is incredibly simplistic, appearing as though the overriding purpose is a political one.

The basic argument is a correlative: Hey look, before DADT was repealed, men reported lower rates of sexual assault. After DADT was repealed, men reported higher rates. Therefore, the predatory homos are raping the men and totally getting away with it now that gays can serve openly! OMG PC gone awry!

To say that Unruh and Donnelly make no attempt to even consider other relevant issues going on is to give them a benefit of the doubt they probably don't deserve. Surely, Good Christians would never purposefully exclude relevant information for purposes of profiting from an Oppose Everything Gay Agenda. Erm, right?

So, what are these relevant other issues?

Well, first is the fact that the the DOD first established the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program in 2005. Note that Donnelly cites that, since 2006, 5% of violent sexual assaults have been against men and that now that number is at 12-14%.

Three of the relevant goals of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program with respect to that claim are "increase confidence in reporting," "improve sexual assault response," and "improve system accountability." As the report states, "a significant barrier to reporting is a common belief among victims that nothing will be done after a sexual assault is reported."

If the DOD has been taking measures to create a climate where victims feel safer, less stigmatized, and more confident reporting their assaults, it is reasonable to expect an increase in reported sexual assaults over the course of the 7 years this program has been in place. That is, the actual crimes may not be increasing; it could be that people are reporting the crimes more often.

Do Donnelly, Unruh, and the homobigot commenters at WND consider this tidbit at all? Nope. It doesn't jive with their HomoPredator Narrative, so why would they?

If they had their druthers, I reckon a Rape Prevention Program they would come up with would consist of keeping women and gays entirely out of the military, because heterosexual men are incapable of not raping women and gay men are incapable of not raping straight men so, hey, whudareyagunnado?

Gender segregation is awesome, to these people, except, um, when it comes to marriage. When suddenly, it's highly advisable for Woman to marry and live with Rapist Man. It's quite a dim view of men these gender traditionalists take. And, let's note once again that this view of men is not one that's taken by many of us "man-hating feminists."

Secondly, oftentimes, it is LGBT and gender-nonconforming people who are sexually assaulted, physically assaulted, and harassed by aggressive heterosexuals. In Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America, several accomplished non-heterosexual servicemembers testified about the harassment and degradation they were subjected to by their fellow servicemembers for being gay.

Unruh and Donnelly, of course, fail to consider the possibility of heterosexuals assaulting and engaging in acts of "corrective rape" against LGB people.

No comments: