Winter Soldier by Iraq Veterans Against the War, 2008, Excerpts
Dehumanization bred through training and combat stress not only leads to brutality against the “enemy,” it also leads to discrimination and brutality within the ranks. Women, gays and lesbians, and heterosexual men perceived as “weak” are often targeted.
When rape of sexual assault occurs within the military, reporting it is intrinsically difficult. Such incidents usually occur in a setting where the victim lives and works. In most cases, this means that victims must continue to live and work closely with their perpetuators, often leading to increased feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and being at risk for further victimization. It is usually impossible to remain anonymous. If heterosexual women face barriers in reporting discrimination within the military, the situation is even worse for gay men and lesbians.