1. I-Search: What I Learned<br />Nicole T.<br />Sexual Abuse of Female Veterans<br />May 10, 2010<br />5th Period<br />Research Question 1 <br />First off, the first question that I felt needed to be answered was why is the female gender targeted? It is interesting to note that, women make up only 11% of the military in Afghanistan and Iraq, therefore they are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted because they are essentially defenseless and weak when surrounded by all those men. Women are alone in a man's world at war and so the men see the women not as their comrades, but as someone that they can use to fulfill a personal desire. This is disturbing because women are losing their equality and war is a time where everyone should unite and look out for each other not a time where comrades betray each other and cause traumatic scars that can never be healed ever again. In order to prove this, to find the answer to this question, I used a database article which provided me with statistics and reasons to why the female gender is targeted. The database information source was definitely a source that I relied on a lot because I knew that the information on there was credible. I also thought that this information source was very helpful because it clearly outlined everything in a concise, but very understandable manner. Furthermore, I have many thoughts on the information that I have uncovered as I am disgusted with the fact that women are treated so poorly. I believe that women are in no ways inferior to men and therefore, they should not be treated this way. I was appalled with the fact that the army was so careless about this issue and that they've been more judgemental towards the women rather than they are the men. They are unappreciative of all the wonderful attributes women bring to the military. Hence, this research question was a great way for me to understand why this issue is still prevalent in the military today.<br /> <br />Research Question 2<br />Next, the second question that I felt needed to be answered was what has happened to women that have been sexually abused? Among many others, these female soldiers become depressed and lack the desire to live out their lives. Once women are sexually assaulted or raped they have trust and betrayal issues. They can never trust anyone as they feel that at any moment their closest friends could turn their back on them which is what happened to them at war. Equally important, the information source that informed me of these answers was a video from PBS News. This was extremely helpful as I was able to hear first hand what happened to two female soldiers who were previously stationed at the war and what exactly happened at their time there as they shared how they were brutally sexually assaulted and raped. I also trusted this information source very much because it came from a credible news network that provides credible information for their audiences. Likewise, I have quite a few thought on the information that I have uncovered as I feel personally responsible to why these women feel so depressed and harsh on themselves. I believe that we as a society look at the women that are sexually assaulted or raped with disgust and scorn. This makes the women feel that they can never open up and so they shut themselves off from the rest of society and then they feel that they cannot trust anyone. We need to accept them more with open arms and not banish them because they are the victim and we shouldn't be treating them like a suspect. Finally, this research question really showed me that I need to be more appreciative of my life now and also be more appreciative for the women who show so much braveness in the face of so much violence.<br />Research Question 3<br />Moreover, the third question that I felt needed to be answered was what has been done to prevent the abuse of female veterans? Equally important, the army is trying to reduce stigma through increased awareness, education, and guaranteeing confidentiality to victims reporting such crimes. Through campaigns such as I AM STRONG, assault numbers have been driven down. This is a huge step for the military as it gives women the comfort and satisfaction of knowing that they are being looked out for. It must be added, through these campaigns, the army has reestablished its values and beliefs. The army now sees this crime as reprehensible and beyond toleration. They feel that it hurts them as an Army and wounds their morals. Even so, the Army views anyone, no matter how high in rank they are, as a criminal when they commit these acts. They view them as cowardly and damaging to the very moral fibers that give the army its innermost strength. Now, punishment is starting to be enforced just like it should have been from the very beginning. Lastly, the army is sticking to this new campaign and this new mindset to ensure the safety of all soldiers at war and that all genders are treated equally and that any crime will be punished with the highest punishment possible.<br /> <br />What You Did Well and Are Proud Of In This Research Project<br />Personally, I feel like I have grown throughout this process. In order to illustrate, my netvibes and google sites pages are put together very well and are very organized. I feel that I did a great job in laying out the fundamentals so that others could quickly understand the message I am trying to get across. This message would be to appreciate and respect the men and women that serve our country. Primarily, it is my netvibes page that I am extremely proud of. I worked extremely hard on the page to make sure that it was presentable and that I used all the widgets that I desired. I feel so confident in what I put out on my netvibes page that I am bursting with excitement for others to look at it. Best of all, I believe that I handled my expert interview in a very professional manner. Through these interviews, I learned how to draft a letter to someone of importance and who I didn't even know. I was able to gain their trust and get insight into their lives by the way that I formatted my interview. I believe that this thought me how to correctly write a professional letter to someone of a higher caliber. Obviously, I have gained numerous life skills through this project and I am ecstatic because of the fact that I will able to implement them and use them to help me in the future.<br />Reflection<br />Of course, there is always room for improvement as I have also come to learn during this process. So to speak, what I would have done differently if I had more time or was given an opportunity to do this project again would be to definitely interview a lot more people. I feel that if I was allotted more time, I would loved to interview more people to hear what they had to say about my issue because I find it more interesting to hear what someone has to say first hand rather than reading an article which very well may have been fabricated. I also would have loved to have actually met someone that went through this situation. I believe that it would be a great learning experience if I was able to actually see the effects of my issue on someone that has had to go through it and now lives with the trauma and the pain. No doubt, I had areas where I felt that I didn't learn as well as I had hoped to. Something that I wished I would have learned more was more steps that are being done to combat the issue besides the I AM STRONG campaign. I feel that there are more initiatives that have been placed out there that I still have yet to discover. In any event, I believe that researching any project for just a few weeks won't give someone the answers to everything, but rather a brief look on the issue. Unfortunately, time did not permit me to further delve into my topic and so I wasn't able to get all the details that surround my issue. Unlike others who research my topic for a living, I only had a few weeks to put together an entire presentation. Therefore, I feel that although I didn't learn everything that I needed to, I feel like I had enough information to fully understand the topic that I had.<br /> <br />Reflection and Assessment<br />What can I say? I am blown away by everything that I was able to accomplish for this project. It was astounding to see the full scale of this project and seeing it take shape. I would give myself an A because I invested an immense amount of my time into this project and I feel that I succeeded wholeheartedly in presenting my facts and opinions to the rest of the class. At first, I was dumbfounded. I asked myself, "
How will I able to accomplish all of these tasks that have been set for me?"
I was definitely surprised by how efficient we were in class and how the use of digital media and the internet helped make the project go by so much more smoothly then it would have been without it. I spent a lot of time on this project, in and out of class and I believe that my dedication to this project is shown entirely in my presentation, netvibes page, and google site. I also thought that it was great that we were able to read about the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan in the book, "
What Was Asked of Us."
This book definitely brought a different perspective to the war and it was something that I had never read before. I never realized the pain and suffering that the soldiers went through. At times, I just wanted to cry because the book was so real and shed a sad reality on the war. I felt bad because I didn't understand the soldiers and the sad thing was that I thought I understood them. I thought I knew everything that was going on in the war, but no one ever really knows anything unless they were actually there. One factor that I liked about this semester as opposed to last was the fact that we were able to respond on each other's blogs on each of our reading journals. It motivated me to do better and it showed me that people appreciate what I have to say and they actually took the time to comment and acknowledge the fact that I did really great reading journals. I really enjoyed the multigenre elements that I did for this project. I was especially ecstatic with the facebook page. I thought the facebook page was a modern way of letting other people understand the severity of the issue. I was glad with how all of my multigenre elements turned out because they all required a lot of research, patience, and time. Finding an expert was definitely a scary process. Its never fun to have to look for someone to interview because their is no personal connection and it isn't something that was high on my list to do. I was glad though that we had to interview an expert because it really helped me understand the Iraq and Afghanistan war a lot better. I feel that I definitely improved a lot from last semester in my research skills and project work. This time, I felt more experienced and so it was much more easier to research and put together my presentation. Throughout the entire project, I kept on pushing myself to push the boundaries. I love being different and thinking outside of the box and so I made sure to keep on challenging myself throughout the project and keep on adding new information as I continued to learn more information and adopt new research skills. These reasons validate the fact that I deserve an A on this project.<br />Your Digital Footprint<br />A technological genius? Me? That's what I am now because for the entire year, I have mastered all types of social networking sites and digital elements such as my netvibes and google site. I've grown immensely since I first started the school year. Now, my netvibes and google site show that I am a credible and avid researcher. They also show my dedication to the project as I included my own opinions on the subject matter which made the project more personal for myself. My netvibes page and google site tell the story of my experience as a researcher this semester because it incorporates everything that I have done and that I have researched. It is a full overview of everything that I have worked on all semester. I feel that these sites are so helpful because it'll get the word out there faster. Internet is the main means of communication and knowledge these days. It is through the internet that I know people will see my pages and be inspired to research the topic themselves and it will also lead them to appreciate all of the American soldiers and veterans. I feel that I will leave this semester with a huge digital footprint. I am not going to stop here though. I am going to continue expanding my digital footprint to the wider world and by doing this, I hope to inspire millions of people to see what is truly important in life and what needs to be done to preserve our wonderful world.<br /> <br />