Sunday, January 13, 2008

Not an isolated case

The story of the (allegedly) raped, kidnapped, and murdered pregnant Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach has had only one revolting development after another. "Missing pregnant woman" is unfortunately not an unusual headline, nor is "female member of US military raped by colleague." I could only interpret the mother's entry onto the stage to destroy her daughter's credibility as a HUGE red flag, and wasn't sure how things could get worse. Until we learned that Lauderbach's body had most likely been found in her accused rapist's backyard, and that (from the article):

Military officials said Laurean was not taken into custody after Lauterbach reported the alleged rape because there was information the two carried on "some sort of friendly relationship" after she filed the complaint against him.

Right, because a rape victim has enough power over her assailant to avoid contact with him.

It's been infuriating, seeing a picture forming of something very terrible and unfortunately plausible having happened. I don't have much analysis to add, except that in the coverage I've seen on CNN, no mention of a historical problem with sexual assault in the military, nor the prevalence violence against pregnant women, was made. The story is getting the amount of coverage it deserves, but its place in larger trends of violence against women deserves more emphasis.

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