There may be justice at last, though such justice is not enough and can never restore what was taken.
As the HuffingtonPost notes:
Staff Sgt. Luis Walker was sentenced to 20 years in prison Saturday for crimes that included rape and sexual assault. He is among 12 instructors investigated for sexual misconduct toward at least 31 female trainees at one of the nation's busiest military training centers. Six have been charged with crimes, and the counts against Walker were the most severe. He could have faced life in prison.This prison sentence however can never alleviate the damage that was done. Rape not only ravishes a victim’s body, but it also crumbles a victim’s soul. The victims of Walker’s monstrosity may never fully recover:
The women assaulted by their Air Force training instructor don't sleep much these days and when they do, he sometimes haunts their dreams.Walker is not alone (from Raw Story),
They testified Saturday about being suddenly unable to relate to husbands, boyfriends and even fathers and brothers after they were sexually assaulted. One said her fear during a tour of duty in Afghanistan was heightened by soldiers who reminded her of her instructor, and she warned her younger sister not to enlist in the Air Force. Another said she's now afraid to be behind closed doors with any man.
Another of the instructors, Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado, was placed on 90 days’ confinement when he pleaded guilty in the case in June, admitting that he had sexual relations with ten different trainees. The case of Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc, who has been charged with sexual misconduct, obstruction of justice and making false statements, has been referred to a general court-martial.
The problem may however be that there is an imbalance in male to female ratio:
Lackland graduates about 35,000 airmen and women each year. They’re put through 8 weeks of basic training by 475 instructors, 90 percent of whom are male.Some males take this opportunity to abuse their power and authority by exploiting their female subordinates.
Walker abused his power by using his position as an instructor to (again from HuffPost):
gain female recruits' trust, and then he made illicit sexual advances. Walker's court-martial included testimony from 10 women, one of whom wept as she described him luring her into his base office and sexually assaulting her on a bed, ignoring her pleas to stop.Other survivors testified that (once again from Raw Story):
they had been physically forced or coerced by threats against their military careers into kissing, touching or intercourse with the 12 instructors.There has been a culture of rape and coverup in the military. As Naomi Wolf notes:
For men, combat experience is the leading cause of PTSD. For women, it's sexual assault. This is the real 'war on women'It seems many male soldiers take the opportunity to rape their female subordinates or colleges because prosecution is astonishingly low (again from Wolf:
Prosecution rates for sexual predators are astoundingly low," they note. In 2011, "officials received 3,192 sexual assault reports. But only 1,518 of those reports led to referrals for possible disciplinary action, and only 191 military members were convicted at courts martial."Shame. That's my last and final word for this diary.