Saturday, November 30, 2013
How Many Must Fall, Because Of Their Want To Serve?
I wonder how many of these male recruits must fall victim, to male on male rape, or MST, before the military and the Veterans Administration take it seriously and do something productive, to come to the aid of the survivors of Military Rape and Sexual Assault?
I am sure that no one wants to join the military, to offer themselves up for victimization, at the hands of not only predators, but also suffer extended consequences of reporting the matter. I am going to try and "skirt" around the statistics of Sexual Assaults, within the ranks of every military branch, in the United States. Why? Well not only are they not truly accurate, but they are at best just an estimate of those instances which were reported and where action was taken. Also lumped in those statistics are the ones which are reported and then discounted, to nothing more than a false allegation.
What Is Being Forgotten? Or At Least "Brushed Over." In All Of This)
The largest amount of data that exists, on the subject of Military Sexual Abuse, and all of the "lesser Offenses" included in such charging of those who commit the abuses, is at best scantly covering this issue, but talking about it to keep the public informed of the so called "Pro-active" stance that the military is taking on less than complete or accurate information supplied by commanders and actual court marshals that have occurred. So, I beg to question; What is being forgotten? Well the answer, in my opinion is "MEN" are being forgotten.
Men, according to the military's own records are supposedly the more assaulted group in the military. However, the military and advocates are really unsure of just how many men are or have been subjected to assaults and rape, during their military service. Why? Well mainly because of the fact that men are just not reporting the assaults to their commanders, or to their health care providers for fear of not just retaliation, but also fear that they will have to live with the stigma of being a victim. In my case, I did not report the issue until just recently out of fear from having to face the proverbial "Ghost in the Closet."
Women, Traditionally Have Always Been The Victim's Model.
Women have always been the more widely reported victim group, in as far back as I can remember. Not, to be disrespectful of that in anyway. In today's society as well as the culture of the American Male, it has been widely hidden that sexual abuse had or has become a part of their lives. In many instances, it is now coming to light that more males, who serve in the Military, are victims of sexual abuse across the board; even with the current numbers being known this is becoming a nightmarish fact of life, within the Military Culture.
Again, I am not trying to be disrespectful here.. Women are and always have been coveted in our society as sacred and the male tendency which has been ingrained in most men, is that no matter what we must protect women at all costs. This is, again in my opinion, what should be happening. We should be protecting our women from such assaults. We should be protecting them even if men find that their wives, daughters, nieces, and lady friends have fallen victim.
With all said to this point, I am personally disarmed at the lack of attention that comes, when a male suffers a similar befalling.
A Reverse Of Rolls:
Is the Culture, in which we live, so set in "Roles" and expectations that when there is a variance from those "roles" that we just turn our heads and walk away? Well, it seems this is the case; at least in my view and perception of this particular matter. It appears that no one wants to admit that they have been sexually abused, Not even women. The stigma of becoming the perpetrator, or instigating the events that lead up to the assault, was our fault and that we put ourselves out there.. My lord what were we thinking? In most cases, the answer was and is, that we were thinking and had a right to think we were in a place that we were safe.
It is now a reversal of roles, that men must suffer the consequences of those men, who in the past have scowled at women whom had been victimized. Regardless of what our beliefs or our up raising has taught us about protecting the women, we as men have to recognize that we can become the victims as well. No, I must rephrase that last sentence. We must recognize that we have also been victimized by such assaults, and hiding from this fact, is not going to bring our sufferance to any less of a reality.
Yes, as it is being viewed by the Civil Liberties Advocates as a "Reverse Discrimination" issue, within our protected and lightly viewed world today. Advocates for Civil Liberties have coupled with Swan, in their attempts to bring more gravity to the fact that Men are being victimized in never perceived numbers, while serving their country and are being turned away from assistance and justice, in what appears to be the same manner women were, and are being turned away from since the civil war era and probably before that time.
There Are So Many Reasons:
There are so many reasons men are not coming forward, to talk and disclose their past assaults. I could not even begin to speak on their behalf. I know the reasons, in part, as to why I did not come forward with my attack, when It Occurred. In fact, the one largest reason is the threats I received early on, when I even mentioned the matter to my superiors and was told they would destroy me and any chances of a career in the military. In one instance, that threat included my future in the civilian world as well.
I knew once I started to try to pick up the pieces, of what was left of myself, I knew nothing in my live's past, would ever be the same. I knew that I could never truly return "Home" and expect the same level of relationships, I left behind when I enlisted in the Air Force. I knew that was all gone, and any hopes of sharing this disgusting secret, would fade as no one would be able to understand me, or what my attackers did. I knew that at that point, I would forever be locked in a self made prison of secrets, facades, and excuses; to lead everyone away from bringing up the subject.
So, what is your reasons for not coming forward? I know that is sort of out of context and out of what you may have expected, from this article or commentary. But if you are a victim, what is keeping you from at least coming forward and putting your story on record, with the Veteran's Administration, to seek what is rightfully yours?
Shame is not something to take lightly, nor is it something that is not worth exploring. I know only that up to this point, I have not received the responses for help, from the Veterans Administration, here in Corona, CA. nor Loma Linda Veterans Administration's Hospital. So, I have not received any counsel or help from them except for their desire to medicate, medicate and to give more medication.
So, I am not really sure how to face all the emotions and "ghosts" in the closet that have been chasing me over these 30 plus years, as I suffered silently in my own prison of shame and denial.
I look back at the raising of my step children, and their children, over the years. I look back and reflect on how I handled the times, in which I saw shame cross their faces. I look back at the advice I shared with them to help them live in a better view of the world. I suppose that is why I am working so hard to get this blog out there and get the word out, that Men Need to Be able to express themselves in such a way, they can deal with their own shame and disgust. I started looking back at this, only a few months ago; giving credit to an old friend of mine, who urged me to get assistance and start the healing process.
Lord I know, it is not easy!.. I am battling with emotions, I have never known and the one's I have known about, are significantly multiplied in their intensity, to a point that I am over-whelmed most of the time, and go into panic attacks and every emotional break you can imagine. (and some I could not have imagined.)
Last Words For The Day:
In closing of this post, I have to say; this post has turned out a lot different than I intended it to. I am however, not going to edit it or change one word or assertion of this post. However, I am urging those men and women whom have suffered at the hands of others, to reach out and let your voice be heard. Put it on record, and know that no one can judge you, in doing so. I am going to urge, Men Especially, whom have been wronged by your former or current commanders, or superiors, to come out and shout to the roof tops, what you are suffering with. They may not want to know, but they need and have to know.
For those Commanders, First Sargent's, Section Chiefs out there, listen and don't judge because of your own narrow minded views. These folks need to be heard, even if they are a Male subordinate.
Lastly, I want everyone to take care and Thank You For Visiting.