SILT, CO – February 16, 2012 — As criticism from the right heats up over women in the military, PFC Liberty Stryker, a new novel by Peggy Tibbetts, tells the story of one female soldier’s struggle with sexual assault and victimization during the Iraq War.
Last Thursday when the Pentagon announced it would be opening up more combat missions to women in the military, Republican candidate Rick Santorum expressed his concern over women in combat saying their presence could lead to a “compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved” – referring to men’s emotions.
However Tibbetts’ PFC Liberty Stryker paints a much different picture. Nineteen-year old Libby Stryker is plucked from her unit and dragged across Iraq on a secret mission without explanation. “Under the current combat rules, women are doing all the compromising,” Tibbetts explained. “Without defined roles in combat, female soldiers have no voice when it comes to strategy and execution. As a result they can be used as pawns on the battlefield – and often are.”
On Sunday, bashing women in the military reached a new low when Fox News pundit Liz Trotta claimed women want to be “warriors and victims at the same time.” Citing a U.S. Army report in January that revealed violent sex crimes in the military have increased 64 percent since 2006, Trotta said, “What did they expect?”
“What military women expect is to be treated like soldiers. Not like pieces of meat,” Tibbetts said. For PFC Liberty Stryker, sexual assault is not only part of her initiation into the Army, it is a never-ending battle for the young soldier.
Just as the Audience Award winner for best documentary at Sundance 2012, The Invisible War exposes the pervasive and insidious cover-up of sexual assault in all branches of the military, Tibbetts said her research on women in the Army revealed the same pattern. “I didn’t set out to expose sexual assault of female soldiers in my book,” Tibbetts claimed. “But my research showed me that’s it is hideous reality for too many women who serve. Women make up 14 percent of the Army ranks, but they account for 95 percent of all sex crime victims. I couldn’t ignore the facts.”
While teens are the target audience, Tibbetts believes her book appeals to all readers who enjoy a story of adventure and espionage in the war zone. PFC Liberty Stryker is published by Sisterhood Publications and available in ebook at Amazon.com.