NEWSFLASH: Susan Burke Talks Military Rape with Bill Maher

Comedian/talk show host Bill Maher has occasionally met with some well-deserved, withering criticism from feminists for sexist remarks he’s dropped on his provocative weekly show.

But Maher has also managed to tackle some significant issues of concern to women without trivializing them. And this Friday night, one of his guests on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher will be attorney Susan Burke, featured in the new issue of Ms. magazine for her tireless legal work on behalf of military women who have been sexually assaulted.

Burke has now filed three separate lawsuits, charging current and former top military brass with having a “high tolerance” for the crime of rape but “zero tolerance” for those who report it. As the Ms. story, “Court-Martialing the Military,” by Molly M. Ginty, points out,

Congress has been holding hearings for years about the problem of rape in the military, and the DOD [Department of Defense] has attempted to improve the protocol for training, reporting and prosecution. But victims too rarely find justice, while perpetrators commit assaults with impunity. If the military brass realizes they can be successfully sued for damages, though, says Burke, ‘They would be forced to take responsibility, prosecute rapes and at long last clean up their act.”

Nearly 1 in 3 women are raped during their military service, according to a Veterans Affairs Administration study–double the risk faced by civilian women.

Tune in Friday for more from Susan Burke, and pick up the new issue of Ms. on newsstands or join the Ms. community.

Photo of military woman combat photographer from Flickr user expertinfantry under license from Creative Commons 2.0


  1. Hmmm, I may just have to set aside my girlcotting of Maher to catch this episode.

  2. justiceday says:

    What they need to do is force Congress to get the FBI involved and go after old cases. The military has been allowed to ignore rapes of women and me for decades. Some women have evidence from years and years ago. Congress needs to force these rapes to be looked into. Until there are repercussions these guys will find ways around rape. And when you have congressman like Mark Critz who sits on the armed forces committee and helps the military get away with it we have no hope.
    And they not only rape their own they rape children and those in relationships with them.
    www theusmarinesrape com A sheriff with no jurisdiction has the evidence no one will talk to him in the federal government.
    www citizensagainstmarkcritz com

  3. Just in tears because my miltary career was cut short . I servived two court marshall. The pain is still fresh after26 years. I still suffer deep depression as a vet due to the harrasments and such in the military. sad

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