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Secretaries of Defense Need to Stop Military Sexual Trauma Says
Legal Group for Veterans
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 4, 2011 - More than one dozen current and former service members
named current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as
defendants in a lawsuit about military rape and sexual assault.
The group of fifteen women and two men, including both veterans and active-duty servicepeople, claimed that
Secretary Gates and former Secretary Rumsfeld openly condoned policies that did not prevent, investigate or
prosecute the perpetrators who raped, assaulted and harassed them while they were serving as members of the
U.S. Military. They claim that the two failed to enforce the rules though the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
“The unique aspect of this story is that the veterans have filed suit against the current and former
Secretary of Defense. No one should tolerate this behavior,” said James G. Fausone, a veterans lawyer who
works for Legal Help For Veterans, PLLC.
The lawsuit accuses the Secretaries of Defense of failing to take action against what they call a “culture of
rape”. They claim that several of the perpetrators were not punished for their crimes, and even promoted after
they mocked reforms designed to punish them.
In addition, one female veteran claimed that soldiers who come forward to complain about rape or anything else
are ridiculed or retaliated against without means to defend themselves. She said that rape and sexual assault
cases are mistreated and are not subject to accountability.
A Pentagon spokesman said that Secretary Gates is working to ensure that the military is “doing all it can to
prevent and respond to” rape and sexual assault. He said that Secretary Gates is providing more money,
staffing and training to stop the crimes from happening.
There were over 3,200 rapes or sexual assaults in the armed forces in 2009, according to the 2009 Annual
report of Sexual Assaults in the Military. This number, however, is estimated to account for only 20 percent of
actual rapes in the military, according to the Defense Department, which believes the number may actually be as
high as 16,150.
“Military sexual trauma against men or women cannot be tolerated in a military force protecting a civil society,”
To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
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