Issues with sexual harassment for those who work in the military are very real, but it can be quite hard for people to report them or to put an end to them. This is a line of work that brings its own unique set of challenges. Some of them are as follows:
1. Genders are not evenly divided. According to one woman who complained about being harassed while she was deployed, she was the only woman being sent over with 12 other men, and she was joining a unit with 300 men. She also noted that none of the people in leadership positions were women.
2. Rank can cause problems. Rank is very important in the military. When reporting what had happened to her, one of the interviewers asked her why she had not done more to shove the man she accused of assaulting her away. She said that he outranked her, so she was nervous to physically confront him like that.
3. Lack of proof is a big issue. The woman said that most people did not believe her when she could not back up her claims with solid proof.
4. The victim may be blamed. In her case, she said that she was often blamed for what happened, and one interviewer asked her if she was sleeping with other members of the military–including her squad leader. The squad leader later noted that that had no bearing on whether or not someone else harassed or assaulted her, but it was seemingly an attempt to put the blame on her.
Those facing sexual harassment in the military need to be very sure that they know their rights in New Jersey.
Source: Buzzfeed, “Here’s What Happened When One Soldier Reported Sexual Harassment In The Military,” Ali Vingiano, accessed April 22, 2016