Target Acquisition: A Vulnerable Population for Military Sexual Assault

Srimayi L -

Hello everyone! As I said in my recent post, I will now describe certain factors’ relation to military sexual assault which I am collecting information on for each country in my research. The results of this data collection process will be discussed next week once all factors and content within my table are refined.

Once again, the factors currently are the age of enlistment, gender (if applicable), pay, voluntary vs. mandatory service, length of required service, the consciousness of the perpetrator, the resulting mental health effects (to be specified as they are categorized). By analyzing these components, a susceptible group to military sexual trauma can be identified.

Firstly, the age of enlistment is important in examining how young the military population can be on average for each country. This can help in predicting if sexual assault is more likely to occur to younger military personnel over older officers. 

With gender, I am looking at the separate rates and data of assault for men, women, and personnel that are part of the LGBTQ community. Through this categorization, a potential conclusion can be made on which group experiences more discrimination and sexual violence within the military.

Next is the factor of pay. The pay that soldiers receive for each country’s military can attract a group of people in particular and cause certain people to stay longer as a part of the military. This can reveal if there are differences in military sexual assault between militaries of countries that give less pay and ones that give relatively more.

Whether military service is compulsory or not is another key component to look at. Usually when military service is required, there is a specific group that it pertains to, affecting the military demographics for that country. On the other hand, if the service is voluntary, the population is more likely to be diverse and not as homogeneous. This can impact which group of people is more at risk for military sexual assault.

The length of required service shows how long personnel are needed to serve for their country which determines the minimal time they need to stay. If personnel have to serve for longer, they are able to experience more situations than people with shorter required serving periods with these situations including crimes like military sexual assault.

While the previous factors correlated to the military as a whole, the next factor focuses on the perpetrator of the assault. The consciousness of the perpetrator signifies whether they were in a stable and right mental state when committing the crime. This aspect communicates the victim’s risk of experiencing sexual assault based off of the mind state of a person.

Lastly, we have the mental health effects of military sexual assault. Affected victims of military sexual assault can experience and are at risk for a variety of mental health issues. This factor doesn’t necessarily specify a vulnerable population but rather what this group is likely to experience. The most common problems from this crime include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. As I fill out my table, I will specify the recurring problems that I find as a result of military sexual trauma.

My next steps in my research process are to continue getting information on these factors and observing and analyzing patterns within the data which I will go more into in my next post. 

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

– Srimayi

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    Hi Srimayi! Thank you for informing us of the main factors that may pertain to military sexual assault. I am excited to hear about which factors you find to be the most prevalent in certain countries after you gather more data in the coming weeks!
    Thank you for the support!
    Moksha Dalal
    Hi Srimayi! This is very impressive research. How are you looking at rates for the LGBTQ+ community as it is a more recently accepted group? Are people open about it in the military?
    Srimayi Lakkireddy
    Hi Moksha! Thank you for the interest in my project! I plan on using the reports of rates I find of military sexual assault against sexual minorities that are available and that I can find. As you mentioned, since this community is still in the recent process of being accepted, mainly western countries have such data reports as the personnel from these militaries are more open about their sexual orientation in comparison to eastern military personnel, so I probably will not find much data for this factor for the eastern countries. However, I want to show this difference in connection to the varying cultures between the east and west.
    Hi Srimayi, these are very interesting aspects you are studying. Is there a certain time period that you pulling these reports from? I'm asking because certain factors like LGBTQ+ and gender would differ now than compared to 20 years ago.
    Srimayi Lakkireddy
    Hi Saahithi! Thank you for the interest in my research! My data is from 2017 to 2023, so the data should be fairly recent.

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