Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Lance Corporal Nicole McCoy Wants Soldiers Who are Found Guilty of Rape to Register as Sex Offenders
It's time that women who serve our country be treated with dignity and respect. MFB
I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years. During that time, I was raped twice and sexually assaulted twice more. It happened so often that I assumed it must be normal.
After I left the Marines, I learned that some studies estimate that one in three women who serve in the US military are raped during their service. But according to current military law, military rapists are not required to register as sex offenders in a national database or to list their crimes on their discharge papers.
I don't think it's right that some convicted sex offenders get to wipe their records clean when they leave the military.
That's why I started a petition on Change.org asking the Department of Defense to create a mandatory national database for convicted military sex offenders -- and to make sure they register at the local level too.
Click here to add your name to my petition.
When I tried to find out why some military sex offenders don't have to disclose their crimes, I was told it would take too long to create a national database, and even that the military is trying to "go green," and it takes too much paper to add an extra checkbox to discharge papers.The truth is that most military sex offenders never have to pay for their crimes. Studies say that only 14% of rapes in the military are reported, and only 8% result in a court martial. And because there's no central listing for those who are convicted of sexual assault in military courts, communities and employers (even the Veterans Administration) have few ways of identifying them.
When I tried to report what happened to me, I was led through a maze of questions and excuses. It felt like no one wanted to hear what happened to me. Instead of getting justice, I was ostracized and humiliated. But I'm not going to stand by in silence anymore. I know that if enough people sign my petition, the Department of Defense will be forced to address this issue.
Click here to sign my petition demanding that the Department of Defense require soldiers convicted of sexual assault in military courts to register on a national database, as well as register in their local state registry.
Lance Corporal Nicole McCoy