In the past
century there has been a wide range of news covering issues in the military
specifically, the “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy. However, there are many other
issues soldiers deal with while serving their country. One issue that is particularly disturbing
is soldiers are labeling their fellow women comrades as “crazy” after these women confess
they have been raped.
hits home for Stephanie Schroeder, Anne Moore, and Jenny
McClendon whom joined the military because they wanted to serve their country.
Schroeder was a mere 21 year old with an associate’s degree when she was
shipped to Parris Island, South Carolina for boot camp. Two years later she was
diagnosed with a personality disorder and the Maries claimed her
psychologically unfit for the Corps. Moore enlisted after 9/11 and was shipped
to Germany and also diagnosed with a personality disorder. McClendon was
diagnosed with personality disorder while she was working as a sonar operator
on a Navy destroyer. Why were these women all diagnosed with a personality
disorder? It just so happened that they all were diagnosed and discharged from
the army after reporting a sexual assault.
proclaims, "I remember thinking this is absurd; this is ridiculous. How
could I be emotionally unstable? I'm very clear of mind, especially considering
what had happened. It was a ludicrous diagnosis."
this is a pattern that is seen in all branches of the armed services. Even though
the defense department has a zero tolerance policy, there were 3,191 military
sexual assaults reported in 2011. These statistics are assumed to be much
higher however, because of the numbers of sexual assaults that are not
reported. The pentagon estimates the actual number to be 19,000.
number of sexual assaults in the military is unacceptable," Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta said at a news conference in January. "Our men and
women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to keep America safe. We
have a moral duty to keep them safe from those who would attack their dignity
and their honor."
Bhagwati, a former commander of the marines says that this is a problem that is
easily swept under the rug. Most units don’t want to deal with this sort of
problem and slapping on a false diagnosis onto these women gives the military an
DSM-IV classifies a personality disorder as a long-standing pattern of
maladaptive behavior. However, Schroeder, Moore and McClendon never had any
personality type issue in their lives previous to this diagnosis. Individuals
with the disorder tend to get in trouble more often, get fired from jobs and
cannot sustain relationships. In this cause it makes little sense why
the military would diagnose these women with personality disorders when they are
functioning normally. They make it though basic training and most are
deployed over seas and still doing fine.
Liza H. Gold, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University
School of Medicine, says it's a rule of thumb among psychiatrists not to
diagnose someone with a personality disorder in the middle of a traumatic
experience like a divorce, litigation or the aftermath of a sexual assault.”
way the military handles this type of issue creates a Secondary injury for victims. Survivors say that the lack of response
from their fellow soldiers adds emotional trauma. These women feel a strong
sense of betrayal that is understandable when their allegations are pushed
pentagon has been making changes to their polices in order for victim of such assault
to seek justice. For example, they have adapted new rules that combat veterans
diagnosed with a personality disorder have to be interviewed by peers or a
mental health professional. Moore and Schroeder agree that
they would still be serving in the military if the military had tried and
punish their rapist and allowed them to switch units.
this is a very serious issue women may face who are serving in the armed forces.
The pentagon needs to make continuous efforts to stop this problem because victims’
lives are shattered and broken because of inaction.
*To her these audios of these women's stories click HERE
Martin, David S., Jonathan Binder, and Sean O'Key. "Rape Victims Say Military Labels Them 'crazy' - CNN.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/14/health/military-sexual-assaults-personality-disorder/index.html?npt=NP1>.