U.S. Army Releases “Racially Biased” Hairstyle Regulations

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Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the National Guard in Georgia has always plaited her hair into two twists around her head. She has been in the military for six years and has worn her hair natural (meaning no chemical treatments [perms] or hair extensions [weaves]) for four of those years. But according to the new hair-grooming […]

Congress Tries Again to Protect Survivors of Military Rape

Congress is challenging top brass' the handling of sexual assault.

The statistics on sexual assault in the U.S. military speak volumes. Nearly one in three servicewomen are raped while serving, twice the rate of the general population. Nearly 90 percent don’t report the assaults, however, and the few cases that get reported are rarely prosecuted. A year after the documentary The Invisible War drew widespread […]

Women’s Peace Groups Oppose Drones

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On a warm day this past September, 75-year old Edith Cresmer stood with a clipboard outside the New York Public Library by an 11-by-8-foot replica of a weaponized military drone. She collected petition signatures, spoke with passersby and pushed for a ban on all unmanned government aircraft—especially those that kill. A member of the Granny […]

DOD May Only Take “Baby Steps” to Confront Military Sexual Assault

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Amid the growing recognition of sexual assault in the military, the Department of Defense is primed to release six executive actions addressing how the military handles the issue. The proposed actions were drafted and circulated in an internal memo, but were obtained and released to the public by Politico. They are expected to be formally announced soon. […]

House Approves Bill to Protect Victims of Military Assaults

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The House last week passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act with two amendments pushed forth by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). The amendments, if passed through the Senate and signed into law, could right some of the inherent wrongs in how the military handles sexual assault cases and and stop the further victimization of survivors. […]

Another Sexual Assault Prevention Officer Accused of Sexual Assault

It’s obvious by now that in the U.S. military we’re not only dealing with an unacceptable environment that discourages people from reporting sexual assault, we’re dealing with a full-on culture of impunity. Pentagon officials last week announced that an Army sergeant in Fort Hood, Texas, who worked as a a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator is under investigation […]

Number of Military Sexual Assaults Are Way Up

A report released this week by the Department of Defense shows the estimated number of sexual assaults in the military increased from  19,300 to 26,000 from the 2010 to the 2012 fiscal year—a 34.7 percent increase. The number of reported assaults also went up in that time period, but only by 5.7 percent. And still […]

Senate Hearing Brings Military Sexual Assault Out of the Shadows

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Last week, the U.S. Senate held a subcommittee panel on sexual assault in the military, its first in over a decade. Three former service members testified before the panel about “a pervasive culture of harassment and danger in which victims had little or no redress.” The subcommittee’s hearing comes as senators expressed outrage over a […]

Defense Dept. Offers Benefits to Military Same-Sex Partners

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Seventeen months after the Defense Department ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it finally released information on what benefits can be extended to same-sex partners of military members. The new list of benefits leaves out some pretty important concerns—such as health care, housing and survivor benefits—because of the ongoing existence of the Defense of Marriage Act. […]

Abortion Coverage for Military Rape Victims Passes Senate

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to extend abortion insurance coverage for rape or incest victims in the military. This amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), first introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) last year, would mean that service women no longer have to pay out of pocket to terminate those […]