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The ITT List

Monday, Jul 12, 2004, 1:46 pm

Rape Reforms Needed

By Emily Udell

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One hundred seventy-six servicewomen in Iraq and Afghanistan have reported instances of sexual assaulted by fellow military personnel. Last week 48 members of Congress sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding that he address the issue. Today on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman interviewed investigative reporter Miles Moffeit, who has been covering this story for the Denver Post over the last year and a half. (You can download the interview at the Democracy Now! Web site.) Goodman also interviewed Dorothy Mackey, founder of Survivors Take Action Against Abuse by Military Personnel.

Today Moffeit published an article in the Denver Post that raises questions about the level of urgency that the Defense Department has assigned this grave issue. Despite the fact that Rumsfeld ordered a task force to start dealing with the problem six months ago, victim advocates still have not been made available to servicemen and -women in the war zone.

These news reports provoke many questions, among them: Why has this story not been picked up by other news outlets? Why has the Defense Department been dragging its feet on this issue? And, what is being done to prevent these assaults? Service personnel have more than enough to worry about in a war zone....

Emily Udell is a writer for Angie’s List Magazine in Indianapolis. In 2009, she finished a stint drinking bourbon and covering breaking news for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. Her eclectic media career also includes time at the Associated Press, Punk Planet (R.I.P.), The Daily Southtown in southwest Chicago, and Radio Prague in the Czech Republic. She co-hosted and co-produced In These Times’ radio show “Fire on the Prairie” from 2003 to 2006.

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