Rape-crisis counselors sometimes advise, like the Air Force brochure does, that there are circumstances whereby fighting back against an assailant is a bad idea. Purchia doesn’t dispute that. “You can always identify some circumstances,” he said, “but as a general rule research indicates and it’s generally understood that fighting back often can fend off the attacker and usually does not lead to greater injury.” – Air Force Brochure Tells Sexual Assault Victims to ‘Submit’
THE FUROR over the Pentagon’s sexual assault report, which will be released this afternoon, reporting “26,000 instances of sexual assault – about 70 per day,” up from 19,000 last year, hits as the Air Force is taking more criticism for what can only be seen as nonchalance to sexual assault in their ranks.
From Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room, who has a copy of an Air Force brochure that was issued at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina:
“It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist,” reads the brochure (.pdf), issued to airmen at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned. “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”
The brochure, acquired by Danger Room, issues a series of guidances on “risk reduction” for sexual assault. Among others, it advises people under sexual attack in parking lots to “consider rolling underneath a nearby auto and scream loud. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car.” A public affairs officer at Shaw, Sgt. Alexandria Mosness, says she believes the brochure is current.
One of the features of serial rapists is they have “hyper-masculine attitudes,” according to the Air Force brochure. These men prey on younger recruits, newly deployed, who also can be “emotionally unstable.”
Through my experience and research I’ve learned that sexual predators target anyone they feel they can dominate, because rape is about power. A victim doesn’t have to be “naive,” “young” or “unstable,” all descriptions from the Air Force brochure, to draw a sexual predator’s attention.
The arrest of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski for sexual assault over the weekend proved that fact.