The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 14, 2013

Our View: Disgraceful military assault

We want to make one thing clear: A sexual assault is not a sex scandal. Nor can the rise in sexual assaults in the military be justified in any way.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh was wrong when he blamed a “hook-up” culture for the rising assault numbers. A failure to address sexual assault as a crime is what’s wrong.

We are also ashamed that in the reporting on the arrest of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the man in charge of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, some publications have referred to it as a “sex scandal.” Krusinski was arrested and charged with sexual battery for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in a suburban Virginia parking lot.

Let’s make it perfectly clear: This was an attack, not a sex scandal.

The Defense Department estimates that 23 to 28 percent of women serving in the military will be sexually assaulted at least once over the course of their service. And 11 percent will be raped.

Documents released by the Department of Defense this past week reveal that military sexual assault is actually on the rise. Reports of sexual assault rose 6 percent in 2012 over the previous year to  3,374. But an anonymous survey of military members revealed that there may have been as many as 26,000 assaults last year — up from 19,000 estimated assaults in 2011.

Now, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who has been outspoken about the military’s handling of sexual-assault cases, has asked that President Barack Obama’s nomination of Lt. Gen. Susan Helms for vice commander of the Air Force Space Command be halted. McCaskill first wants a clear explanation of why Helms last year overturned a jury conviction in a sexual-assault case.

We support McCaskill for her efforts to enforce accountability.

Let’s call sexual assault what it is — a crime.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Sports