Conflict & Justice

Sexual Assault in US Military Also Targets Men, Says Male Survivor


Former Navy Petty Officer Brian Lewis ( Photo: Courtesy Brian Lewis )

The epidemic of rape in the US military doesn't only harm women. Men are victims as well as perpetrators of sexual assault in the Armed Forces.

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Former Navy Petty Officer Brian Lewis is one of the few male rape survivors in the US military who has been willing to step forward and talk about his experience.

He was in the audience Tuesday as the Senate Armed Services Committee convened to consider legislation designed to make it safer for soldiers to report rape.

"It's pretty disappointing," Lewis says. "Congress is beginning to step up to the plate, but the chain of command has had knowledge of this crisis going back probably as far as World War II. And I know now that I'm not alone, that there are at least 20,000 — this year 26,000 survivors joining me every year. And in this year alone 14,000 of those survivors were men."