Sexual assault in the military: we need to be more like Israel

[Note: this article was written by Michele Hickford]

At the end of last year, the Department of Defense prepared a 100-plus page Report to the President of the United States on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. I skimmed the whole darn thing. I learned April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the military. Did you know that?

During April, U.S. troops do things like run a 5k on an aircraft carrier.

5k

And make colorful formations on the deck of amphibious assault ships.

amphibious

Among its many charts and graphics, the DoD report included this handy chart for “Promoting a Culture of Dignity and Respect.”

chart

For as much time and resource that was clearly put into this report, you would think sexual assault in the military would be at epic proportions, or as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called it, an “epidemic.”

Except it’s not. In fact, it has actually gone down.

What percentage of women in the military do you think is sexually assaulted? Twenty percent? Thirty percent?

Actually, according to the 2014 report, it was 4.3 percent, down from 6.1 percent in 2012.

The Department of Defense report even says the “CDC found rates of sexual assault for military women are no different than rates of sexual assault for women in the civilian sector.”

However, what has gone up dramatically is the number of REPORTS of sexual assaults – not the actual incidences mind you – the reports.

In 2012, there were 3,604 reports of assaults and in 2014 that figure increased 50 percent to 5,518 reports. The Department of Defense sees that as a huge improvement, but if the actual incidences have declined, it could mean many more people are being wrongly accused.

All of this got me thinking about how the U.S. statistics compare to Israel, where women have been serving in the field alongside men since 1973.

In February, Haaretz reported a 10 percent increase in the number of reports of sexual assault in the Israeli military. Interestingly, the number of reports by men nearly doubled, although over 90 percent of the reports came from women.

Haaretz said, “among the incidents, 49 percent were physical forms of sexual harassment and the rest were verbal assaults. Four percent were incidents of rape, while the majority of reported assaults ranged from an unwelcome touch of a foot, for example, or a kiss on the cheek.”

The “unwelcome touch of a foot?”

In any case, the total number of reports of sexual assault on women in the IDF represents just three-tenths of a percent of those serving.

We need to be more like Israel.

I actually have an idea why the incidence of sexual assault in the IDF is so low. It’s called Krav Maga.

Every woman serving in the IDF needs to study this self-defense art. Maybe male Israeli soldiers don’t assault the women with which they serve because they know they’ll get their butts kicked.

It’s just a theory…

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93 Comments on "Sexual assault in the military: we need to be more like Israel"

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Mark Siegel
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Uh – pretty sad shape that the Israeli military is in if the men — who presumably can also learn krav maga – are getting their butts kicked by women. I doubt that this is actually true of what is one of the top military forces in the world.

It IS disturbingly interesting to see that the tactic of male-shaming is utilized by the right with almost as much frequency as it’s used by the left, but then most men seem to regard it as their due.

BillMarantz
Guest

Lighten up, Mark, it was a joke. I’m sure Col. West is perfectly aware that the incidence of rape, drunkenness and thuggery among Jews (of every walk of life) has always been a fraction of what it is among Gentiles (of every nation.) It isn’t politically correct to point to this elephant but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in the room.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

1 trained person versus 1 untrained person. = very short fight. 1 trained person versus another trained person = a fight that can be long and someone is going to get hurt. = might not be worth it.

Philanthropussy
Guest

not when it’s your supervisor threating you. You do know soldiers get self defense training while in boot camp.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Duh! of course they get training. It would not be military anything if there was no training.

Philanthropussy
Guest

You do realize the people who are doing the raping are follow soliders, right? Often times superiors. Not guys who pick them up in bars. These women aren’t weRing sexy clothes or drunk chicks.
The reason there are more assults reported is due to victims not fearing retribution ftom military superiors before if they reported the crime they will be tossed out and their rapists would be promoted.

Lou9999
Guest
I notice that you have the stereotype of the men doing the raping of women. That is your agenda. How about men versus men or women versus women. Or women as the perpetrator and the man as the victim. Believe it or not honey, I have seen them all. But you have the agenda that it is the women who are always the victim….Not True. Also not true is the drinking. Over half of the alleged sexual assaults involved alcohol from both the perpetrator and victim and almost all of them (both perpetrator and alleged victim) are under the age… Read more »
Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Amen to that. but generally he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Philanthropussy
Guest

The article was about female rapes. If want how I can bombarded you with rape statistics ?

Lou9999
Guest
Honey, I am sure you will just use male versus female stats. You couldn’t care less about any other stat other than the male being the perpetrator. After reading your posts, it is obvious that you are a man-hater. Liars use stats and stats are lies. I used to read the “victim’s allegations” (part of my job). The first line always said “well, we were out drinking” and the second line was “we were making out in his room and I woke up without my clothes on”. Are there rapes in the military? Absolutely, just like the civilian world. But… Read more »
Philanthropussy
Guest

Wow, you spent your lonely Saturday night writing a boring statement to a perfect stranger. I guess you found the prefect rape repellant, loser

Lou9999
Guest

Oh honey, I must really have hit a home run with my posts. You are reduced to name calling and bad mouthing my lifestyle (of sitting home on a Saturday night). Once you are reduced to name calling and personal attacks, you have lost your credibility and the battle.

Why don’t you come to my house and kick my puppies. That is all you have left to do.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Kick your puppies? Why, they’re the only friends you have.

Lou9999
Guest

True, but if you come over to kick my puppies, I am sure you would kick only the male ones. It is called misandry honey.

Philanthropussy
Guest

If you think I hate men, so be it. All I am doing is standing up for female heroes. You have no idea what these women have gone thru. I think you should do some research before you call me anything.
The first reaction we should have after hearing about a rape assault should not be “she’s lying.” Rape is the most under reported crime for that reason. SHAME.
What makes it worse is it’s a woman writing this BS article.

Lou9999
Guest
You should be standing up for all heroes. You have proved my point that you are a misandrist. Also, you have no idea what these women went through….were you there? Are there rapes in the military?….absolutely and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I have no sympathy for them. However, what I am telling you….and please listen closely…many women have made claims of being sexually assaulted and the claims were just not true. And these were not just one or two cases. Once a man gets the “rape claim”, his future is basically gone. It… Read more »
Philanthropussy
Guest

Heros don’t take heros.

Lou9999
Guest

What are you talking about? Take your meds….you are starting to ramble.

Philanthropussy
Guest

No amount of meds can help your denies. Soliders should not rape other soliders.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Do you run around telling everyone the grass is green? Do you get a rush from stating the obvious? Do you get high on guessing the rest and making stuff up? Sheesh You forgot to mention 2 vs 1. Gives a decided edge there.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Yes 2 vs. one does it edge.
But that’s not how most rapes happen.
It’s West that’s miniizing the situation, but me. He skimmed over the report, sounds like he didn’t care. Only 4.3 women are raped. That’s 4.3 too many.
These are women volunteered to protact this country with their lives and they have a higher change of getting raped than dying in the hands of the enemy.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Any is always to many but thats a really dumb statement. Totally depends on where you are stationed and the type of war situation you are in.

Philanthropussy
Guest

No it doesn’t. I can happen anywhere.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Wow you have a real hard time comprehending. You got a much better chance of getting killed in a warzone going door to door than you do stationed in Germany. So how do you figure your rape odds are worse than dying in a combat situation. Did you bother to do the statistics on that? Or did you just make it up like most of the other drivel you state as fact?

VL123
Guest

What a better way to try out some Alinsky indoctrination than the US military! They can’t resist it! And if it works in the military, it’ll work on the civilian population!

Brendan
Guest

What does your belief in “Alinsky indoctrination” have to do with sexual assault?

VL123
Guest

You clearly don’t know feminist theory do you?

Brendan
Guest

You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about since you can’t even answer a simple question and explain your won comment.
What does “Alinsky indoctrination” have to do with sexual assault?
It’s a simple question.
They were your words.
If you can’t explain yourself, you were just rambling nonsense.
Your attempt to deflect by refusing to answer and bringing up feminist theory is absurd.

Lou9999
Guest

I think VL123 is being sarcastic.

Flower
Guest

And since Obama got rid of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, the incidents of MALE sexual assault has skyrocketed! 24,000 last year!

EnemyIsInWhiteHouse
Guest

Get this MONO off my back!! pic.twitter.com/ALJx1dakKc

Philanthropussy
Guest

you think teaching women to marshal arts we solve the problem? has self defense stopped rape in civilian life? How about teaching men to respect women? Especially, their follow soldiers. Women join the military for the same reason men do. It’s sad to think people like you minimize the situation.
“an unwanted touch of the foot” What part of UNWANTED don’t you understand? If your loved one said a creep touched them and they felt uncomfortable about it, I hope you do more than to the creep’s side.

Deke Larrew
Guest

The only “marshal arts” taught to females are how to park aircraft…

Martial Arts are a different animal..

Philanthropussy
Guest

Wow, Thanks for disrespecting the deAd. Tell me, proud American, you willing to say that the a female soliders face or just lay get her on the back when she passes by at the airport?

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

There will always be rapists, just as there will always be thieves, murderers, etc. Teaching men to respect women, as most men already do, won’t stop rape, just as teaching people to respect each other’s property won’t stop burglary. Many people keep a gun at home to protect themselves against
burglars. In the same way, it would be wise to be able to defend yourself against a rapist.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Yes, I said that already.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

Where? All I see is you implying that teaching respect will do more than teaching self-defense.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Why must it be the women who has to protect herself. Men should respect women who are fighting along side of then and may save their saves if they have to.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

You might as well be saying “why must the innocent defend their property? Burglars should respect people who earned what they have.” If you’re going to talk about what people “should” do, there’s a long list. It’s because people do what they shouldn’t that we have police, and because the police aren’t omnipresent, it’s best to be able to defend ourselves.

To answer your question more succinctly, women (and people in general) have to protect themselves because other people would harm them.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest
Yeah I do think it would help solve part of the problem. And yes it has stopped rape on occasion. The big issue of this angle is that not all women are trained. In fact precious few are trained. In fact some itty bitty number less than 1% are trained. The majority that are are probably military trained. Right here in my own town some guys went after a woman only they didn’t know she was training and teaching martial arts on a daily basis. She protected herself quite well. If you want to try and solve the criminal angle… Read more »
Philanthropussy
Guest

You can’t solve the problem. Some people feel threatened and will do whatever they can to hurt, harrass, embarrass and prevent other’s from being the best they can. Human nature. All a person can do is stay viligent and hope for the best.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Wow way to be a helpless victim! Good job! Your first two sentences are true. The rest is garbage.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

Because nothing says unbiased like an author from “feministing”?

Sarcasm aside, you’re contradicting your link. Your NY Times link says telling someone to avoid risky situations is “victim blaming”, and just below you say avoiding dangerous situations is a way to remain vigilant, which is what you recommend. In other words, according to your own source, you’re blaming the victims.

Philanthropussy
Guest

It’s the same thing and I’m nlt blaming anybody. I’m the only one standing up for the victims unlike West who thinks 4.8 rape rate is fine.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

It wasn’t West, the rape rate is 4.3, and the author didn’t think it was “fine”.

“I’m nlt blaming anybody”
According to your source, you are.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Wrong, dear. I’ve been at this for 3 days now, please check ALL my post, I’m the only obe defending these women.
remrmber that next time you see a female servicemember

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

I’m really not. Read your source. It clearly says that telling someone to avoid dangerous situations is victim blaming. Either you’re against your own source, or you’re against you’re own advice.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Avoiding dangerous situations and saftety planning are ways to remain vigilant . https://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Being trained to handle dangerous situations is the best way.

Philanthropussy
Guest

With a weapon? The nra never reports about the guns taken away from people by criminals.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

What does that have to do with anything? Training should always include a weapon! A weapon is what you defend yourself with. You must have some feathers up there. Everyone knows when you defend yourself you use a weapon. Whether its a gun, bat, knife, spoon, or bare hands it is still a weapon you can defend yourself with. Anything else totally off topic you would like to throw in here?

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

First, the article is about martial arts, not a weapon. Training can’t be taken from you. And second, do you have a reliable, unbiased source about “the guns taken away from people by criminals”? Because you can find many reports about people protecting themselves or others with a gun.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

That’s about male partners taking a woman’s gun in her own home, not criminals on the street. What’s more, it fails to mention that those men could injure or kill the women just as easily if they didn’t have the gun. The gun gives them a chance.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

Keep in mind you are dealing with a dunced troll. He probably never bothered to read the articles he posted.

Philanthropussy
Guest

No, the article is about West thinking 4.8 rape rate is acceptable in the military.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

West didn’t write the article. Michele Hickford did.

And nowhere in the article did she say a 4.8 rape rate was acceptable. She said the rate was 4.3, down from from 6.1, and mentioned that the DoD said the rape rate in the military is pretty much the same as it is with civilians. She also said we should emulate a country whose military rape rate is 0.3%, in order to further lower our own rate.

Philanthropussy
Guest

She wrote, West approved.
I don’t care if it 4 whatever!!! We need to protect these women and not automactisllycassumectheyvare Lying. We do know before if a women assumed soneone, she would be kicked out and the man who be promoted?
We are asking these women to fight for our freedom btw. Many have died for your freedom.

Bryan Fullerton
Guest

You sure contradict yourself a lot. The rest you make up to suit your twisted little mind.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest
You don’t care what the rape rate is? Protecting women is what this article is about. The author is suggesting that women who are trained to defend themselves are better able to protect themselves from rapists. Lying does happen, and we shouldn’t just assume that every woman is telling the truth or describing things accurately. While rape is among the worst things a person can do to someone else, and it should be severely punished, it’s also one of the worst things a person can be accused of. It’s not fair to assume the man’s guilt based solely on the… Read more »
Bryan Fullerton
Guest

You are doing and excellent job attempting to educate phila….pussy. But I fear its a hopeless attempt that goes beyond his comprehension.

jyearsley
Guest

Curiosity compels me to ask, what is the definition of sexua assault being applied herein — and who created said definition? This is a sincere question that I believe bears on the report. What is the presumed line between a “verbal assault” and an insult or crudity?

IprefertobeAnonymous
Guest

I know someone in the military who was accused of sexual harassment because they instructed a female subordinate to do push ups just like the male subordinates. Even though the charge was found to be without merit it still remain in the soldiers’ file.

Philanthropussy
Guest

Was he kicked out of the mitary like the women who accused their supervisors?

Lou9999
Guest
There is a lot of that…..the numbers are higher because some (many more than you think) females get their feelings hurt on stuff men wouldn’t think twice about. Are there predators in the military? Absolutely, just like the civilian world. But there are a lot of cases when the ladies got caught cheating on their husbands or had “buyer’s remorse” and ended up doing things they are ashamed of the next day. Then they accuse men of sexual harassment and/or assault. Women and men both need to protect themselves on this highly charged issue. Everybody in the military walks on… Read more »
faith shorthouse
Guest

Nail on the head.

Facebook User
Guest

Their numbers havent gone down they have just changed things like they always do! And the civilians raped by the US military aren’t even talked about!
Those numbers are more staggering!
The marines and army enlist criminals with drug records what do we expect!
http://theusmarinesrape.com/FaceBook.html

jyearsley
Guest

You are either (or perhaps both) an idiot and a liar. Try leaving mom’s basement and a one term enlistment…then you might have a clue. If, that is you could make it through basic training.

Lou9999
Guest
You sir, are an absolute idiot. Your “reference” is laughable. I used to work in recruiting. The Marines (and the other Services) have very strict guidelines on who they will let in to serve. It is virtually impossible to enlist with a felony. Other disqualifiers for enlisting include education (very hard to enlist unless you are a high school graduate), medical issues, being overweight, and pass intelligence tests. Only about 30-35% of 18-19 year olds in this country are even eligible to enlist. You have obviously not served……professor. Christ, I love it when people comment on issues when they have… Read more »
Brendan
Guest

False.
Violent criminals are not allowed to enlist.
Nice try. I guess promoting the most negative stereotypes about the military is still one of the last accepted prejudices.

Brendan
Guest

Your theory blames the victim.
Ms Hickford , you are suggesting that these women wouldn’t have been raped if they had known how to defend themselves.
That presumes that these women didn’t fight back or didn’t know how.
That is one hell of an insulting presumption.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest

It’s not blaming the victim. It’s suggesting how to not become a victim. By your logic telling someone they should have a gun at home for protection is blaming them for being robbed (if they get robbed).

And most people, male or female, wouldn’t know how/be able to fight back against a much larger and much stronger assailant. Without a weapon or training, that wouldn’t be easy for anyone. It’s not insulting to say that.

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Brendan
Guest

Ms Hickford is implying that the women in our armed forces don’t know how to defend themselves.

Also, when you tell a rape victim they wouldn’t have been raped if they fought back… you are accusing them of not fighting back.

TrueWiiMaster
Guest
It’s more like she’s saying that we don’t train our soldiers in hand to hand combat like Israel does, regardless of gender. Like I said, without training or a weapon, it would be hard to fight off a bigger, stronger assailant. Women are just in the position of being smaller and weaker more often than men. No, you’re not. You’re not accusing them of anything. You’re saying that a person should be able to defend themselves. Regardless of your gender, it’s always better to be able to defend yourself, because there are people who will try to make you a… Read more »
patriotgrandma
Guest

The pathetic truth is that some men will always feel they have the right or the sick need to dominate a female and it happens in every workplace.

PatriotGal
Guest

Just wondering if the report of assaults is limited to females against males, or now with the openly gay policy, is it same sex reports of assaults that have increased. Just wondering…

Philanthropussy
Guest

No, straight men rape straight men for control and humiliation, too

Philanthropussy
Guest

If female american soliders conducted themselves like Israeli female soliders, it would be a disgrace.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjq5INll4jI

Uncle Ruckus
Guest

well darn….

Philanthropussy
Guest

Hell, yeah. Completely forgot that this until this afternoon. There’s more on the Internet.

Terry Cornell
Guest

I wonder what the percent of sexual assault was before we started letting women on submarines and warships in general and in ground combat roles?

Sell Your Soul
Guest

I suppose if you are going to sign up to defend this country then you should be able to defend yourself, but one would hope the men that serve along side of you would be more gentleman than animal and give you the respect for serving your country.

Phoebe
Guest

I think most of us know statistics can be skewed to say whatever people want. How do we prove anything? This article had a lot to say and it was very upsetting to me. As a female veteran of the late 70’s, I was accosted a few times, but I said, ” no ” and it went no further. I guess I could have reported and it would be in the statistics . http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd602.htm

londontubes
Guest
Sexual assault is a serious matter, but the problem is that the term has been so broadened as to almost make it irrelevant. As noted in the article, the term used involves such dangerous acts as touching a foot, and a peck on the cheek. The comparison I just came up with is Murder. There are four regularly used terms to describe the taking of an innocent life. Murder 1, Murder 2, Manslaughter 1 and Manslaughter 2. In each of these cases, a heinous act is performed, however we know the difference in each of these. Maybe a similar thing… Read more »
Philanthropussy
Guest

” dangerous acts”??????
yeah if they are unwanted. If your sister, mother, wife, duaghter said a man ” kissed or touched her and She didn’t want or liked it” , who’s side would you take? ” or would you say ” stop being sooooo uptight”

londontubes
Guest
I would be on her side of course, but I would not want the man improperly ‘tried in the court of public opinion’ as a rapist because the term ‘sexual assault’ was used for a much lesser crime. When the article came out in the paper and the phrase “sexual assault” is used as often is today, I think that that phrase has become such a ‘catch all’ term that someone reading the paper may think that he raped her, or attempted to rape her. That was my point. Those things should be prosecuted to the proper extent of the… Read more »
Philanthropussy
Guest
I don’t understand and why you and the rest are treating this like ” college rape”. It’s not. Few Mitary rape victims came forward BEC there was widespread retailing from at officers. Women were thrown out and rapist were promoted. There were a couple female senators that tried to help. They wanted cases to be trailed in civilian courts but that idea ran into trouble. Now there is better treatment of vicitms and we as a country should be focused on them. These are American heros being abused and we are doubt them. If you don’t believe me, do your… Read more »
londontubes
Guest

My comment was more of a general comment about the use of the terms addressed, not one specifically related to the military.