April 18th, 2012

Employers Gone Wild: U.S. military banishes rape victims with damning psychiatric diagnoses


Women in the American military are raped by fellow sailors and soldiers (still want to call them all “heroes”?). Despite the Defense Department’s “zero tolerance” policy, 3,191 sexual assaults were reported in 2011, the estimated actual number is 19,000. The crime of rape is bad enough, but the employer of these women, the U.S. Army, compounded problems for the brave women who reported it by ending their careers.

It seems the military psychologists and psychiatrists blame the women for their plight (as the Medical Corps has done to troops suffering from PTSD). They use the technique of deliberately mis-applying the psychiatric diagnosis of personality disorder to rape victims. This labels the women with a “pre-existing condition” because the diagnosis requires onset of conditions during adolescence. Being branded with a PD renders the women ineligible for post-discharge medical, military and education benefits.

It’s double jeopardy for the women — employer puts you in harm’s way, gets you raped, then the employer ends your employment while promoting rapists. Sound familiar? It’s the same paradigm experienced by bullied targets who lose their jobs.

Unforgivable Employer Responses

Marine Stephanie Schroeder reported her rape and was told, “Don’t come bitching to me because you had sex and changed your mind.”

Army soldier Anna Moore completed a written report of an attempted rape to her sergeant only to be told, “Forget about it. It never happened,” and then the tore up the paperwork.

Then the diagnosis is affixed, often without a reasonable examination. Women are considered trouble and separated from the service. Careers are ruined by involuntary discharge.

The Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic discovered a disturbing pattern. The abuse of the PD diagnosis by military “mental health professionals” was disproportionately used against women in the services.

The audacious military has also billed rape victims for their enlistment bonuses. Moore was given a $2,800 bonus when she enlisted patriotically after 9/11, planning a lifetime career. When she was discharged for daring to resist rape, she owed the military $6,000!

When Panayiota Bertzikis of the Coast Guard reported her attack, the station chief ordered her and her attacker to clean out an attic on base together and told to “work out” their differences.

Celeste Santana, a former Navy lieutenant commander, lost her pension when she was involuntarily separated from the military in 2011 after 17 years of active duty — three years short of being eligible to retire. Santana says the Navy gave her an adjustment disorder after she reported being sexual assaulted in the middle of the night at a forward operating base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. She says no medical evaluation ever took place.

Read the full story at CNN. Below are audio clips from four women telling their stories.

L to R: Stephanie Schroeder, Anna Moore, Jenny McClendon, Panayiota Bertzikis

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Our society’s widespread adoption of the rape myth is sickening. When coupled with abuses of the system by military hacks pretending to be mental health practitioners, it is doubly atrocious. Have they no shame?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at 3:09 pm and is filed under Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Tutorials About Bullying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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