The Systematic Raping of Women in the U.S. Military (Editor’s note: The author of this post was bullied by her military command to remain anonymous.)

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Testimony by Anonymous

First, I would like to thank you for what you do, and what you represent. Your posts give me inspiration everyday during this dark time I am going through! I commented on your post about female veterans being dishonorably, or medically discharged after they report rape. I have been in for 18 years, started off as a young enlisted Soldier, worked my way up, went to college, and I am now an officer. I have been overseas several times, and I have seen the horror of what females go through. I will admit, I turned a blind eye a lot of times, and I also did not give enough credit to other females when they came to me as their leader, and I failed. I wish with my whole heart I could go back in time and change the way of thinking I had, which is what the military engrains in you everyday. It is very much a mans Army, and while they are starting to make improvements, it is still the defendant with all the rights. I have had the opportunity to see this first hand.
It all started about two years ago. I went to an officer function, and there was a lot of drinking going on. I, myself, was not drinking, as I had to go to a gun range the next morning. As I left, a higher ranking officer asked me for a ride home. How could I say no? He outranked me. We got to our barracks, where he proceeded to pull a knife on me, drag me in his room, and raped me. He told me if I told anyone, nobody would believe a lowly lieutenant, and he also said he would kill me if I told. So, I didn’t. And knowing the Army culture, it is such a taboo. I knew he was right, everyone would believe him. So, as the months went on, he stalked me, followed me home, and repeatedly raped me for the next year. I told two people in our unit, and neither one of them reported it either. I had so much anxiety, I could not sleep, my life went from this stellar career as an exceptional officer to basically barricading myself in my house, jumping at any little noise. I cried every single day. So, I decided to go to a civilian doctor, to get something to help with my anxiety. It did a little, but not a lot. In July of 2011, we deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was my boss. My life went to hell. He repeatedly harassed and assaulted me. At one point, the Commander asked me what was wrong, and I said nothing. He found out that I had been taking the anxiety medicine, and didn’t tell him. I was punished for it. That is when things got very bad. Once he knew I was under the limelight, things got much worse. One night, he locked me in a tent, and raped me repeatedly for hours. I went back to my tent where I was living, and I broke. Everything from the last two years just came up, and I was very close to committing suicide. Thank God my roommate came in, and saw me. I told her a little of what had happened. She went and reported it right away. I was called into the Commanders office a little bit later, and as I walked in, the first thing he said was that he did not believe me. I had already lied to him about the medicine, so he said I had no integrity. I tried to tell him what had happened, and he rolled his eyes at me. I told him he assaulted me at work, and his reply was “are you sure he was not just having you do your job?” I walked out. Then they called the chaplain, and brought me to the hospital. I told them I did not want to file a report, because I was scared. The doctor told me the only way to get out of the situation was to be medevaced back to the U.S. So that is what I did. Once here, they assigned me to a warrior transition unit. It was the most embarrassing, degrading thing I have had to go through. When the time was right, and after hearing that he was going on leave and coming after me, I went to the police and filed a report. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I went to an inpatient treatment facility for PTSD, as suicide was the only option that I could even think was an option. Another miracle, that place really helped. They helped me to understand that I did nothing wrong, and it was him that did everything wrong. I let so much guilt go while I was there. Once I got back, the same things started happening all over again. People were making up rumors that it was I was lying, and just a bad Soldier. After a couple months, I met my prosecution team. Two weeks later, they flew me from Missouri to South Carolina to testify against him. I had to walk though the door into a room, full of men, and also with him. I had a mental breakdown. They literally had to pull me into the room. When the defense started asking me questions, he called me a liar, and said I was known to lie, as I had not disclosed I was on this medication. I could hear the piece of shit that did this to me laugh as I cried and sobbed and tried to make my way through the hearing. Everyone in the room was on his side. I felt like I was the one on trial, not him. It was awful. It was like reliving the experiences he put me through all over again. Everything I learned at the inpatient facility was gone. I was back in the victim mode, thinking I deserved it, and I was the one who asked for it. The investigating officer asked me several times why I did not report it. I really didnt have an answer to give him. He told me that there was not one person who would have went through what I did and not report it for so long. He told me he thought I was lying. This went on for two days straight, 12 hours a day. And it is not done. I still have to go to a court martial, where once again I have to look at this bastard smile and tell my story all over again. He was able to pick the jurors. Of his peers. All men. That is his right in the Army. I have no say, no voice. I feel like I am about to break every second of every day. I don’t know what to do with myself. I go to therapy, but nothing helps. Everyone says how strong I am, that I stood up, and I came forward. But in all honesty, it is the worst decision I have ever made. If I could take it back, I would. My career is over. Everything I have worked so hard for is gone. They are discharging me, not by my choice, but because I suffer from PTSD, and I cant be around the military. That is what they said. I had no say. So now, I am just miserable, and feel like my life is over. All because some asshole held a knife to my throat, and raped me over and over again. And nobody in the Army has my back. The friends I thought I had are gone. They don’t want to get their hands dirty with this mess. And the worst thing is, if I had a female ask me if she should come forward and report, I would tell her hell no. Not if you want the next two years of your life to be living hell. The Army is broken, and broken bad. The Government needs to understand what is going on in the ranks, but they don’t want to. They don’t want this problem. And it happens every single day. So, that is my story. I just wanted to share, in any kind of hope I could help any other female that has questions, or concerns, or doesn’t know what to do. I wish I had somebody grab me by the hand and help, but I didn’t. If anything good can come out of this, that is it. Thank you for letting me share my story.

12 thoughts on “The Systematic Raping of Women in the U.S. Military (Editor’s note: The author of this post was bullied by her military command to remain anonymous.)

  1. I am a surgeon, and I hope I never meet this bastard, because I swear I’ll cut his balls off! Nobody, but NOBODY deserves what you have gone through. These acts and these attitudes begin at the service academies, and they are perpetuated in the ranks and it’s got to stop! There needs to be a group of women in the military who will help those who are victims of rape, and they need the strong support and backing of women in Congress.

  2. Kimberly, I would like to thank you for your service to our country and your bravery in sharing your story. You’re not alone, and resources do exist, however from what I’ve learned, it appears they exist privately, and outside the military. My suggestion is to contact the Military Rape Crisis Center (http://militaryrapecrisiscenter.org/) and the Servce Women’s Action Network (http://servicewomen.org/). The women who give so much of themselves for our country deserve so much better from our country.

  3. Kimberly,

    I’ve been there-25 years ago. I was Navy. I went through it all, much the same as you. DON’T GIVE UP! If you do, he wins. Don’t let that bastard take any more from you than he already has. I, too, have PTSD. I intended to have a lifetime military career that was derailed by HIS selfish act. It followed me to my next command and affected how I was treated there. I didn’t even turn him in for me. I wanted to protect all the other young female sailors out there from him. But I realize now that it WAS for me. But it sucked. Hard core. 25 years down the line, I remember it all. But I don’t regret it. I am not ashamed of it. I did nothing that was a rapable offense. Period. He had no right. Any more than your rapist did or does. I know you don’t feel strong. I know you want to give up. I know how all of that feels. I know how lonely it is to not feel like you can talk to anyone about what you are going through. To feel like those who are supposed to have your back are throwing you to the wolves. To feel like no matter what you do, you are screwing it up royally. You could not continue to live every moment in fear. Turning him in was your only option. When you are at the courts martial, don’t look at him. Stare directly at the JAG officer prosecuting. Stare directly at his attorney when he questions you. Do not give him the satisfaction of looking at him. He is nothing more than the crap you scrape off your boots. And you don’t give that any more of your time or attention that to remove it and move on. When his attorney questions you, compartmentalize if you can. Keep your answers are brief as possible. Always add, sir (or ma’am) after your answers. Maintain your composure for as long as you are on the stand. Break down when nobody can see you. DO NOT GIVE HIM THE SATISFACTION. Would you want him to wear the same uniform that you wore with honor and integrity, when he obviously lacks either? And VA has some amazing counselors out there. They really do. I will never be completely whole. But I’m not broken either. I’m with you every step of the way. You are not alone.

  4. Nothing has changed. I was in the USAF 79-88 and it was just the same. It’s pathetic. I encourage anyone reading this to call or write your legislators and tell them to pass the STOP ACT. You can read about it here: http://militaryrapecrisiscenter.org/tag/stop-act/ It provides for third party oversight and punishment. The wolves will NEVER police themselves. Don’t be so naive — its all about power and entitlement. Period.

  5. reaching through for a quiet hug. i’m so sorry this happened to you, honey. thank you for your service and sacrifice! listen, though, its time to move on. find something you love and make a new life for yourself. keep telling this story. i have a feeling there are MANY women out there who need to read this. sending you peace and calm. DO NOT let this experience define you.

  6. I know how you feel. I myself had similar situation. Please let me know if you see this post. Two years of abuse and harassment at my job. Would like to know how you finally got the nerve to stand up for yourself. With your story I’m wondering if it is even worth standing up for myself. To be looked at at differently because I would be turning on my superior. Let me know. I need help.

    • Are you currently serving in the military? i know that there are hotlines for women being sexually assaulted or abused in the military. Whether you report or not, your safety is priority number 1.

      • I don’t really want to say if I’m in the Army or not. I’m afraid of repercussions. I really want to know if I should come forward or not. He hasn’t threatened to kill me like he did to you but I am afraid of him. Ijust don’t know what to do. I can’t believe your commander wouldn’t protect you from that POS.

      • The choice is yours, I think you deserve to be safe from sexual predators in the military. Here is a resource I hope you’ll find helpful. https://www.safehelpline.org/

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