NYT On “Surviving Rape in the Military”–The Megaphone Is Back in Action


From the New York Times:

Surviving Rape in the Military
By Evelyn Nieves Dec. 17, 2014

The issue of sexual assault in the military makes the news periodically, usually in articles with mouth-dropping statistics and official outrage.

Mary F. Calvert read such an article. It estimated that while 26,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place in the armed forces in 2012, only one in seven victims reported the attack and only one in 10 of those cases went to trial.

But Ms. Calvert, a photojournalist who documents gender-based human rights issues, often in the developing world, could not let the story go. …

Etcetera etcetera …

As I blogged in 2013 in response to a bunch of earlier NYT articles on The Epidemic of Rape in the Military:

Wow, 26,000 rapes in one year, and only 1 percent getting convicted!

Oh … wait a minute … the 26,000 figure, a projection from a survey, isn’t for “rape.” The author suddenly switched from talking about “rape” to talking about “sexual assault,” which is … well, what exactly?

The media isn’t in a hurry to provide examples of what’s just over the line and is therefore “sexual assault” and what is just under the line and is therefore not “sexual assault.” …

This murkiness is not unique to this latest sex scandal. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature when lawyers enlist the media in helping them target a deep-pocketed institution.

In lawyer-driven sex-scandals, it’s not uncommon for crisp sounding abstractions to mask a lot of murkiness.