Added: May 7, 2016 – Last updated: May 7, 2016


Author: Stella Cernak

Title: Sexual Assault and Rape in the Military

Subtitle: The Invisible Victims of International Gender Crimes at the Front Lines

Journal: Michigan Journal of Gender and Law

Volume: 22

Issue: 1

Year: 2015

Pages: 207-241

ISSN: 1095-8835 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History | 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: U.S. History | Types: Workplace Sexual Violence / Sexual Violence in the Military


Link: University of Michigan Law School Scholarship Repository (Free Access)


Abstract: »In the past several years in particular, intra-military sexual assault and rape in the U.S. armed forces have been the focus of frequent media attention and intense congressional debate. Despite reforms, the rate of intra-military sexual crimes continues to remain high, as does soldiers’ wariness to report instances of sexual violence to military commanders. These problems and others have invigorated the position taken by some that outside judicial review of intra-military sexual crimes is necessary to provide justice to victims and lower the rate of intra-military sexual assault and rape. This Note argues that one of the primary contributors to intra-military sexual assault and rape is the gendered nature of the military itself. Given the nature of these acts, intra-military sexual assault and rape can be properly qualified as “gender crimes.” This Note also points out that this problem is not unique to the United States, as other militaries around the world struggle with intra-military sexual violence. Due to this widespread occurrence and international human rights laws prohibiting rape and gender-based violence more generally, this Note argues that intra-military sexual assault and rape should be viewed as international gender crimes in violation of international customary law. It is theorized that recognizing intramilitary sexual assault and rape in this manner can bring greater attention to these crimes and help push for independent judicial review of intra-military sexual crimes on the domestic level worldwide.« (Source: Michigan Journal of Gender and Law)


  Abstract (p. 207)
  Introduction (p. 209)
  I. Intra-Military Sexual Assault and Rape Constitute Gender-Based Crimes of International Proportions (p. 213)
    A. Rape and Sexual Assault Take Place on a Large Scale Within the U.S. Military and Other Militaries Worldworde (p. 214)
    B. Gender Discrimination is a Primary Contributor to Intra-Military Sexual Crimes Which Constitutes Gender-Based Crimes (p. 217)
  II. International Law Prohibits Gender-Based Sexual Crimes, but the System Has Not Historically Recognized Intra-Military Sexual Assault Victims (p. 220)
    A. Background of the Current International Regime Vis-à-vis Sexual Assault, Rape, and Soldier Conduct (p. 220)
    B. International Law Does not Explicity Recognize Intra-Military Sexual Crimes (p. 226)
  III. U.S. Domestic Law Does Not Adequately Address Intra-Military Sexual Crimes (p. 227)
    A. U.S. Domestic Law's Handling of Military Rape and Sexual Assault (p. 227)
    B. The U.S. Legal System Does Not Properly Deter of Acknowledge Intra-Military Sexual Assault and Rape (p. 231)
      1. The Military Justice System (p. 231)
      2. Civilian Courts (p. 233)
  IV. Victims of Intra-Military Sexual Crimes Can Use Customary International Law in Domestic Courts and in Claims Brought Before International Human Rights Bodies (p. 235)
    A. Customary International Law Prohibits the Injustices Intra-Military Sexual Assault Victims Experience (p. 237)
    B. Changing the way Intra-Military Sexual Assault is Handled Through Customary International Law (p. 239)
  V. Conclusion (p. 241)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1991–present) | Military sexual trauma: Sexual assault in the United States military