The Silent Truth: Sexual Assault Against Women in the Military

Another morning of flipping through random video clips drew my heart to this one. This video clip tells the story of Private LaVena Lynn Johnson who died in Iraq. Initially the family was informed by the U.S. Military that Ms. Johnson had committed suicide. Since then, the story has become much more murky, raising questions of a cover-up by the military. Ms Johnson is now believe to have been physically assault, raped, shot in the head, and set on fire. Please see the video clip below.

I must say that I post this blog, not because Ms. Johnson was black, but because she, like many other women who risk their lives on the battlefield to defend our safety, has fallen victim to a system that boasts a high level of valor, respectability, and honor. This is not to assert that all members of the U.S. Military are attacking these women (my brother served in the military for 10 years and I be hard pressed to believe he could ever commit such an action), but the fact that incidents like these can persist in systems like these invokes in me a level of frustration that I cannot fully comprehend.

We often think of women as mothers, daughter, sisters, cousins, nieces, granddaughters, all of which come with a loving connotation. There are also the “not-so-nice” classifications of women: slut, ho, bitch, whore (which I’d like to point out are just as easily associated with men… just saying…). But we often forget that, above all else, women are human beings born with the right to feel secure in all walks of life, whether in supermarket or the Military. So I dedicate this post, not only to Private LaVena Lynn Johnson, but the various other women who have lost their lives in the battle against rape and sexual assault. May your spirits be at rest and the hearts of your families on day be at ease.

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