The Cycle | February 15, 2013
>>> change the day that i was raped.
>> i got there in february. by april i was drugged and raped for the first time.
>> i had like a cold or pneumonia-like symptoms and so they isn't me to get checked out. and while i was waiting to be examined, he came in and he helped himself.
>> with over 200,000 women enlisted in the military, there's an ugly battle going on far from the baitlelines. this is shocking. today female shoulders serving in afghanistan and iraq are more likely to be sexually assaulted by a fellow -- not only do these women suffer the horrors of raped but they are often shaped, isolated or discharged after reporting the assault. with us, dr. kirby dick . congratulations for creating this incredibly powerful film. hive heard more than a few members of congress mention it as being very thought provoking so you've sparked a conversation here. let's start with what to me was one of the most stunning parts of the film. these women are raped or sexually assaulted . if they report it, they are often the ones punished and the men are able to go on with their careers. what's going on here?
>> when i started making the film, i was so astonished on how antiquated the notions are toward sexual assault in the military. there's a notion that many of these rape claims are false rape claims when in fact only 1% are only false rape claims. the military hasn't stepped up and done what it needs to do to solve this problem.
>> this is a horrible problem. you talk about female soldiers in iraq and afghanistan more likely to be raped than killed by the enemy. 80% unreported. perpetrators are often their ranking officers. what are the roadblocks within the military toward reforming this massive problem?
>> well, i think they have some very basic structural problems. for so long they've covered this up, they haven't addressed it. as a result, between half a million and a million men and women have been sexually assaulted . i'd like to add it's not just women being assaulted. in absolute numbers, more men than women are being assaulted. most men in the military are horrified by this, most commanders are horrified by this. these assaults are happening by a small percentage of serial assailants that assault again and again. the military has not gotten its military justice system in order to go after and incarcerate them.
>> recent news has bought the idea of women serving in combat to light. i'm wondering if you talked to any of the women about that prospect and what effect you think the sort of new lay of the land will have on this problem and this issue.
>> well, i think this is something that's long overdue. i mean, these women i think because they couldn't go into combat and as a result they couldn't advance were treated as often times second class citizens. and we know that as a result of that often times there was more harassment. we know if there's harassment in the unit, it's more likely the serial predators will operate. in that regard it's good. they still haven't gotten their military justice system together to go after these serial predators. that's what is lacking here.
>> we have a new secretary of defense coming in any day now. what specifically should the pentagon be doing to combat this?
>> well, you know, since the film has come out, there's certainly a realization that this is a very, very serious problem. in fact, the military is using the film as part of its sexual assault training. today we estimate more than 250,000 men and women within the military have seen the film.
>> what they really need to do, though, is change the way they approach this. right now the way they investigate and prosecute -- the decision to investigate and prosecute these crimes is made within the chain of command and as a result men and women don't report because they perceive there are conflicts of interest. if they don't report, these serial predators go on to assault again and again. it moves to be moved outside the chain of command with independent prosecutors and investigators making the decision. the military is fighting back on this right now. i still think they don't get it. they've had 40 years to solve this problem and they've failed. they have to make these structural problems.
>> kirby, thank you so much.
>> straight ahead, "the cycle" is getting all presidential. the commander in chief is back in chi-town and we're all over