Sexual Violence as an Occupational Hazard & Condition of Confinement in the Closed Institutional Systems of the Military and Detention
76 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 16, 2017
Women in the military are more likely to be raped by other service members than to be killed in combat. Female prisoners internalize rape by corrections officers as an inherent part of their sentence. Immigrants held in detention fearing deportation or other legal action endure rape to avoid compromising their cases. This Article draws parallels among closed institutional systems of prisons, immigration detention, and the military. The closed nature of these systems creates an environment where sexual victimization occurs in isolation, often without knowledge of or intervention by those on the outside, and the internal processes for addressing this victimization allow for sweeping discretion on the part of system actors. This Article recommends a two-part strategy to better make victims whole and effect systemic, legal, and cultural change: the use of civil lawsuits generally, with a focus on the class action suit, supplemented by administrative law to enforce federal rules on sexual violence in closed systems. This Article strives to break down the walls that separate these different closed systems into silos, toward an end of shifting laws and policy to better address the multi-faceted problem of sexual victimization.
Keywords: Rape, Sexual Abuse, Prison, Military, Sexual Violence, Class Action, Women
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