Editor’s Note: The following article was published on the condition of anonymity. The author’s identity and background was vetted and verified by Task & Purpose.

Rape is hard. It’s a hard thing to endure and it’s a hard thing to prosecute. I say this from two perspectives: From my own experiences as a victim, and from my experience as a military prosecutor. I will be the first to say that the military has a lot to answer for when it comes to failing to protect its members from this heinous, unspeakable crime. At the same time, having experienced the difficulties of prosecuting sexual assault crimes in general, I think at times victims advocacy groups turn a blind eye to some of the systematic compromises we make for the good of our justice system as a whole, and that’s not necessarily the military’s fault