Rape in the Massachusetts National Guard

Anonymous, Massachusetts National Guard

I grew up in an affluent town in Massachusetts. My family was expecting me to follow in their footsteps of getting an ivy league education and becoming a doctor or a lawyer. I had other dreams. I wanted to join the Army. I found the National Guard to be a great combination of both being able to attend college while still fulfilling my desire to serve my country even if it was for just a weekend each month and two weeks in the summer. That was until the ban of not deploying Guard members was lifted in which I found myself in the dessert during a war.

They warn you not to go out “after hours” and to have a “buddy” with you at all times. If it is 0400 and you need to use the latrine make sure that you do not go alone. They do not straight out say that you may get raped but the buddy system was not put in place as a form of voyeurism and to fulfill someone’s fantasy of watching others urinate.

I woke up needing to pee. I was not going to wake up anyone cause I did not want to say “hello Spc. ***** can you wake up and walk with me so I can take a piss”. So I went alone. It was daybreak and not even dark out. I did my business and was walking back to the tent when I was grabbed, pushed down and raped.

I ran straight  to my tent and woke up my best friend at the time and before you know it the entire tent was awake. I was sent off for a rape kit examination and the MPs questioned me. They asked me why I went to the latrine alone. They went to interview the man and he denied it. I had to stay with him for another 14 weeks before we were sent back home.

Back in Massachusetts the SARC was less than helpful once again asking me what possessed me (actual words) to use the latrine. Now I am possessed cause I needed to pee? The SARC went on to being awarded the 2010 SARC Award. She may have put on a great presentation for the command to the point of lying about how great her performance was but one-on-one with a rape survivor she was less than helpful. You know the type of people that would kiss ass to a command and get rewarded even though their performance suck? That who she was. She ended up being deployed and was replaced by a 1st LT who did not understand the process of returning phone calls. After over a dozen failed attempts I blocked my phone number and called her. This time she answered and when I said it was me she went…”Hello….hello…I can’t hear you….click” she did not answer the phone when I called back.  When I visited her office she was less than helpful. I guess the first SARC did not tell the new SARC about my case and she called me a liar when I said that it was already reported.

I did not tell my parents right away. They are the helicopters parents and I am sure would have found a way to go the Middle East if I told them right away. After serious consideration and the Guard orders to re-deploy me with my rapist did I finally tell them what happened. They were supportive but with an underlying “well we told you so”.

I has since left the Guard and am in a pre-med program at a private college in Massachusetts. I am ineligible for any financial compensation for college such as the GI Bill and therefore paying out of pocket. I am trying to put the entire Mass National Guard experience behind me but it been difficult. I just started seeing a therapist at the Vet Center and been attending the Military Rape Crisis Center support groups but the pain is even worse now than the day that I was raped because of the lack of help and response from the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators especially 1st Lt K.S. If you are reading this-FUCK YOU BITCH.

7 comments

  1. Are you talking about 1st Lt Kelly Souza? She gave me a pamphlet for a yoga program and told me to deal with my rape that way. How about counseling or group therapy? The Military Rape Crisis Center has a group 20 minutes from my home and there is a Vet Center roughly a half an hour from my house but all she cared about was handing me a brochure about a yoga program in Charlestown (two hours from where I live) go deal with your rape that way. It is the same thing on their website. Only resource is yoga. Yoga is great and all but not when it takes four hours round trip to get there. The yoga program was not even for rape survivors but for war veterans. It is predominantly men…do I want to do yoga with men that look like my rapist? no thanks. Souza is way too lazy to do her job correctly. At least do the research before you send people somewhere.
    I attend the support groups in Springfield. There are others from MANG that attend the groups and we all feel the same way about Souza.

  2. Thank you for sharing this experience. The people that blame the victim often deny that this is what they do. I am so sorry that this happened to you.

    Your testimony so powerful. We had SAVI’s (The Navy’s own version of SARC) and many of them were frauds as well.

    The “Buddy system” does not hold men accountable for rape. Hmmmm. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

  3. UVAs are so useless!! Mine was horrible, too! I never even bothered meeting her. First of all, she came by my work while I was away talking to the investigators. So she TOLD my whole office who she was and why she was there (like they had any right to know what I was going through??!!), leaving her card with my boss. THEN, the one and only time I bothered calling her, it was because my command was forcing me to go on a hike with the perpetrator and I was freaking out. I couldn’t handle it psychologically and my command was ignoring the requests of my counselor and civilian VA to not make me go. So I called her… her response: “Well, we need to just pick ourselves up by the boot straps and get through this. Call me when you’re done hiking and we can cry about this together.”

    Um, yeah… no thanks! Effing useless b*tch!! Never bothered calling her again…

    Sorry yours was absolutely no better. I hate the military so much sometimes…

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. Nobody should have to go through what some of us went through. You inspire me so much that despite what you went through you are able to come out strong. Good luck in medical school and can’t wait when the day come that I can call you Doctor.

    Panayiota

  5. I am so sorry for what you all have had to put up with. My husband was a sarc in the Air Force, and took his position very seriously. Even now he tells his troops their is never an excuse for unconsentional acts. This includes a person who is inebriated, even if they acting like they “want it”. He tells his troops that he will burn them if they make this error in judgment. We have four daughters, one that just got out of the Navy, and one that is planning to join the Coast Guard. I will make her read this to show her how careful she must be. My prayers go with you all.
    Signed
    A fellow rape survivor.

  6. When I read this stuff, it burns my ass. The Air National Guard SARC in Massachusetts is a flippin’ joke too!!! My squadron got deployed overseas for over six months. When the squadron got back, everyone’s moral was low and a lot of people got out of the military. The perception while they were deployed was that this girl (before she became a SARC) slept with our Commander while deployed. I tried to stick up for the Commander and tell them that there was no way that this was true. I couldn’t believe it and still feel loyal to him. I was told over and over and over by many people that I was wrong and that it was true. Shortly after they returned, this same girl was given her MSgt stripe and she didn’t even know her job nor did she have enough time under her belt in this new career field to know her job or warrant a MSgt stripe. Guess what? She was transferred out after getting this stripe and now she is the SARC. It’s a fucking joke and I would punch her right in the face if given the chance. I hated the military even more after all this because as they say, “perception is reality.” When I found out that she was the SARC I contacted her via Facebook and told her how important the position was and that I hoped she took it seriously. Guess what? The bitch unfriended me. This chick jumped from job to job to get her stripes never really knowing a whole lot about anything except how to fuck up what other woman were working so hard for…RESPECT. I hope she reads this and I hope her Command reads it too. Her name is Lori.

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