Seventy female U.S. soldiers have now been killed fighting in Iraq, and at least 450 have been wounded. This comes as no surprise since over 160,000 female soldiers have served in the Middle East and Afghanistan since the war began. But in addition to dodging bullets and IEDs, some female soldiers have had to watch out for a danger they weren’t expectingâ€”sexual assaults by male soldiers. Says Helen Benedict in a Salon piece last month:
I have talked to more than 20 female veterans of the Iraq war in the past few months, interviewing them for up to 10 hours each for a book I am writing on the topic, and every one of them said the danger of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers without another woman for protection.
War brings out the worst in men. War brings out the worst in women. War brings out the worst in everyone. Bring the troops home now.