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Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America's Military 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1569803257
ISBN-10: 1569803250
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America's Military
  • +
  • Understanding Military Sexual Trauma: A guide for those who work with MST survivors
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  • The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
Total price: $49.85
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Illuminating a problem U.S. armed services still try to hide, Hunter shows that women and homosexuals in all four services risk sexual harassment and attack from their comrades. Reasons for this include many recruits' belief that being in the military proves "manhood"; the hierarchical system allowing the higher ranked to get away with abusing the lower ranked; the unwillingness of the lower ranked to get involved when a comrade is abused lest they suffer something similar; the unwillingness of the higher ranked to interfere with the system; and the custom of denying and covering up potential scandal. Hunter points out that actual abusers are a minority, but their influence is disproportionate because of the expectation that one will "bend and spread 'em" for one's superiors. Also, officers in policy-making ranks cannot conceive of or won't take effective action, despite the low morale abuse generates and the need for effective, well-disciplined troops. Hunter's abused interviewees talked to him because he isn't a veteran and so, they thought, would believe them and not cover up their stories. Murray, Frieda

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books; 1 edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803257
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a timely topic. Despite publicized campaigns against sexual assault in the military, the problem is not going away. Women soldiers are especially in danger in Iraq. Commanders routinely warn them not to visit the latrine without another woman for protection; three women who died from dehydration had reportedly stopped drinking fluids in the afternoons out of fear of being raped while walking to the latrine. As a young female soldier who carried a knife for protection from fellow soldiers told an interviewer: "There are only three kinds of female the men let you be in the military: a bitch, a ho or a dyke.... In Vietnam they had prostitutes to keep them from going crazy, but they don't have those in Iraq. So they have women soldiers instead." (The full article is available at Salon's website.)

In this volume, Mic Hunter has synopsized an impressive volume of research literature spanning many decades on the topics of rape, sexual harassment, hazing, homophobia, hypermasculinity, domestic violence, and their interconnections. The book offers a helpful introduction to readers who are ignorant about these topics. Unfortunately, Dr. Hunter's treatment of the current situation in the U.S. military is poorly grounded, offering a simplistic analysis and broad generalities. He often lumps together all time periods and all branches of the military. More seriously, he fails to address recent efforts to curtail military sexual assault. What are these efforts? Are they having any positive impact? Are they mere window dressing? Dr. Hunter is silent on these questions. Nor does he seem aware of some of the practical limitations inherent in efforts to court martial suspected sexual abusers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror


This is an extraordinary book. The topic itself is taboo. Dr. Hunter's examination of it is broad, thorough, and covers a great range of topics, from incentives for enlisting to domestic violence in military families (five times higher than civilian settings), domestic killings, the role and treatment of women in today's military, homophobia, sexual harassment, sexual assault, military leadership, etc.

While mostly focused on the US military it does discuss some issues with Canadian military and presents some research on the military of other countries.

Dr. Hunter takes you inside traditions and practices which may be unfamiliar and shocking. No holds are bared when he examines military slang, most of which cannot be repeated here because of vulgarity. Even having treated veterans for many years, I was not prepared for some of this content.

This book confronts a great many myths with research data. Dr. Hunter notes that even the Pentagon acknowledges that many male veterans acknowledge having been sexually assaulted by their comrades in arms - and also notes that contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of such male victims are heterosexual. A full 28% of female veterans who were surveyed reported that they had been assaulted while serving their country. Dr. Hunter reviews data and dozens of case examples - some well-known cases, and some which did not receive much publicity.

The issues of hazing and indoctrination are extremely shocking.
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I am a MST Survivor so I found reading Dr. Hunter's book very validating. It took me a couple months to read due to the triggers, the inspiration, and the touchy subject but in the end, I learned so much valuable contextual information. I learned that I was not the only one who has been sexually assaulted while serving my country and I wasn't the only one who was betrayed by the very people I was willing to take a bullet for. This book helped me to realize that what happened to me was not an isolated incident. This is a systemic issue and the military justice system has failed us miserably. The perpetrator is given all the rights and the victims have NONE. Because the Chain of Command has taken such a lighthearted approach to dealing with domestic violence in the homes of military personnel, it is now spilling out into the workplace and affecting the women and men in uniform. The DoD has known about this issue for over 25 years and has yet to deal with it. As a matter of fact, the numbers are increasing. After reading Dr. Hunters book, I now know why. It was so nice to realize that I am not the only one who suffers with PTSD and that the reason why the PTSD is so bad is caused by the very environment charged with protecting us. I could have dealt with the sexual assault had I been supported after reporting. It was the retaliation and systemic abuse by the Chain of Command that pushed me into total despair. Thank you for acknowledging this. I can tell you put a lot of hard work and effort into this book. I can tell you really understand the subject matter because I could relate to everything you discussed in that book. Excellent work.
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