Michael Matthews tells his own story of being sexually assaulted while serving in the Air Force and explains why it is wrong to think about military sexual assaults as a problem that only affects women.
“According to the Department of Defense’s Military Sexual Assault Report for 2012, an estimated 26,000 members of the United States military, both men and women, were sexually assaulted in that year. The Pentagon survey almost certainly underreports the scale of the issue. Of those sexual assaults, 53 percent (approximately 14,000 in 2012) were attacks on men.”
“Keeping my secret made me suicidal. I am lucky to be alive. Right now, according to V.A. estimates, 22 veterans a day take their own lives. The natural assumption is that these are combat-stress-related, but recent research has found that war zone deployment has little or no influence on suicide rates. We need to consider whether this tragic epidemic has other causes.”