Male Rape In The U.S. Military Reaches An All-Time High

38 men get raped in U.S. military each day. It’s very easy to overlook male victims when we speak of domestic violence, sexual harassment, bullying and rape.

U.S. Military

While fewer men than women face such violence, this lesser spoken about issue does exist.

Sexual assault is rampant in the U.S. military, but it's mostly women who are thought of as victims.

According to the Pentagon, 38 military men are sexually assaulted every single day in the United States.

Read More: It’s Not Only Women Who Suffer These Problems, Men Do Too

GQ recently interviewed military men who shared their horrific experience.

Here are snippets of some men's heart-wrenching stories:

“I didn’t want to cross him. I really didn’t feel like I had any choice. I had just turned 19. It could be my career. I froze and went along with it.”

“When a gunnery sergeant tells you to take off your clothes, you better take off your clothes. You don't ask questions.”

“I had actually let the assault go, because I didn't want it to interfere with my career. I wanted to be an officer, and I just said, ‘Bad experience, won't let that happen again.’ But there was some residual damage. A month and a half later, I was brought into a room with about nine officers and told, ‘You've tested positive [for HIV].’ I was removed from the military and signed out within a day. It was a complete shock.”

Read More: These Stories From Military Rape Survivors Will Shock You

U.S. Defense

Last year, the U.S. Defense Department unveiled steps to combat sexual assault in the armed forces by increasing protection for victims, beefing up oversight of investigations, and making responses to such crimes more consistent across the military.

"Sexual assault is a stain on the honor of our men and women who honorably serve our country, as well as a threat to the discipline and the cohesion of our force. It must be stamped out," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a statement.

Cynthia O. Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman said all sexual assault response coordinators within the military are instructed to provide “gender-responsive, culturally competent and recovery-oriented” resources.

“Based on that guidance, each of the services customizes its training and implementation specific to their service,” she said.

That is not really the case.

Brian Lewis

In December 2013, Brian Lewis openly spoke about how the Navy failed him, saying he could have dealt with the rape but it was the Navy's response to the attack that haunted him.

He was raped by a higher ranking official and when a friend reported the attack, Lewis was visited by a senior officer who ordered him not to cooperate with Navy investigators.

He says he did as told. The investigation stopped dead. There was no court martial. His attacker was never punished.

A few weeks later, former Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah Arbogast talked about trying to kill himself in front of told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel because he thought, “I felt my death would spare my wife, daughter and myself the dishonor the rape brought upon us.”

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“To this day I don’t know where my perpetrator is. Not knowing his location leaves me looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life,” Arbogast said. “I was not afforded the same rights as rape victims in the civilian world. Where are my choices?”

While nothing takes away from the pain and horror these men faced, the fact that people are talking about the issue is a positive step. The more people speak out and share their stories, the greater the chances of a solution is. The perpetrators may not be punished in all likelihood but the chances for such atrocities taking place in the future could be reduced.

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