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Female Service Members File Suit Against U.S. Military

Eight current and former female members of the U.S. military have filed suit against named defendants and past and present military leaders for claims of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. In the lawsuit, the women allege a pervasive sexual harassment and assault while the women were on active duty.

One woman claims that she was raped in the Florida Naval Air Station barracks. Another woman alleges that she was sexually assaulted in a commanding officer’s office in Washington D.C. Other women report serious allegations of rampant sexual harassment and threats. All eight current and former service members were enlisted in either the Navy or Marine Corps.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington. Another large component of the suit is the allegations that the Defense Department and Navy and Marine Corps leaders ignored the claims when the women made them and allowed commanding officers to retaliate against the women for reporting abuse and harassment.

The attorney for the plaintiffs released this statement, “There [are] no circumstances under which women who are brave enough and patriotic enough to stand up and defend this nation should have to be subjected to being called ‘slut, whore, walking mattress’. This is the year 2012. This kind of conduct is not acceptable.”

The Defense Department spokesperson said that they do not comment on pending litigation.

Source: Washington Post, “8 current and former service members sue US military, claiming sexual assault and harassment,” 3/6/2012

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