Class Action Against U.S. Military On Behalf Of Sexual Assault Survivors

Just got this news via the fine folks at CounterQuo:

The DC firm, Burke PLLC, is preparing to file a class action suit on behalf of those harmed by the military’s failures to address military sexual trauma. They are interested in speaking with anyone who has been assaulted or raped while in the military or by a member of the military. They plan on filing in the near future so if you know any victims/survivors who may be potentially interested in participating in this lawsuit, please have them contact Susan Sajadi at ssajadi at burkepllc dot com.

If this is you or someone you know, please do get in touch. Here’s some context, from playwright Carolyn Gage:

According to the website of the Military Rape Crisis Center, one in three women in the military will be sexually assaulted. Two out of three women in the military will be sexually harassed. Congresswoman Jane Harmon from California has done the math: “A woman who signs up to protect her country is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.”

Over 90% of all females that report a sexual assault are discharged from the military before their contract ends. From the 90%, around 85% are discharged against their wishes. Nearly all 
of the 85% lose their careers based on misdiagnoses that render them ineligible for military service and ineligible for VA treatment 
after discharge.

This case has the potential to not only win some small bit of justice for the victims/survivors that have already suffered at the hands of an (at best) uncaring military (trigger warning on that link), but may also have a real impact on the way the U.S. military policy deals with sexual violence in its ranks, hopefully saving many people from ever being so traumatized.

(Cross-posted at Yes Means Yes)

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8 comments for “Class Action Against U.S. Military On Behalf Of Sexual Assault Survivors

  1. evil_fizz
    July 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Feres Doctrine, anyone? It’s going to be an awfully high bar to clear.

  2. July 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Prepare for the far right i.e. Elaine Donnelly to seize upon this as “evidence” that women should not be serving in the military, that soldiers cannot control themselves, and that this is a harbinger of what will happen if DADT is repealed.

  3. William
    July 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Sadly, Evil Fizz, I suspect you’re right. I doubt the courts will be convinced to care much for whats left of our nation’s legally indentured servants. Governments punish others, not themselves.

  4. July 27, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Those links were mightily unhelpful. I am in a position to give some attention to this, and there was no information that was helpful to me at those links. In fact, the CounterQuo website is not accessible or easily navigated. I will do some research of my own, but since this is something fiercely important to me, it would help if the references you left were helpful. Do you have any other way to get the information you left?

  5. August 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I was in the military in 1977 right after the Womans Army Corp was abolished. My basic training company was a test case for the physical part of basic. Basically how much can these cracks take. My AIT sisters were being sexually assaulted by the First Sargeant. Ten of us made complaints to the IG. It did not end well for us.

  6. Rebekah
    August 19, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I have already interviewed with Ms. Burke and Sajadi and will be taking an active role in this lawsuit. Part of this lawsuit is to try and change legal precedence and in the process hold the military accountable for it’s actions and it’s culture. If anyone has any questions for me as a survivor and plaintiff, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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