Women raped in Iraq don’t know what to do

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Women working as contractors in Iraq tell a U.S. congressional committee they do not know where to file complaints if they are sexually assaulted.

Three women testified at a Senate hearing Wednesday, The Miami Herald reported. Figures from the Defense Department show that 26 U.S. women working for companies like KBR have made complaints in Iraq, but no one has been prosecuted.

Mary Beth Kineston told the committee she was raped by another truck driver while she was working in Iraq for KBR.

”I’m in a war zone, and I have to worry about my co-workers,” she said.

A KBR spokeswoman told the Herald that the company does not tolerate sexual harassment and takes action when appropriate. But witnesses described not knowing where to file complaints.

”We’ve got a problem that justice is breaking down here,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Nelson became concerned about the issue after a constituent, a Tampa woman, said that she was raped in 2005 by a colleague who got the key to her apartment out of an unlocked box.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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