Child of an airman raped by active duty member.

Aimee, United States Air Force

I am not sure if I am included in this exact space, as I am not active or former active duty military. But I have been raped by active duty members twice.

The first time, I was eight years old. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed overseas. It was a friend (or at least co-worker) of my dad who was babysitting me and my younger brother. He raped me in the shower, a blur of pain and blinding water. I mostly remember laying there while the water turned cold, staring at my reflection in the faucet. This is a case that probably could have been successfully prosecuted because of my age, but I was too lacking in the ability to cope or acknowledge what had happened to me. I didn’t understand, and my parents never noticed anything being wrong with me. I later learned what it was that happened to me, and it only made me more afraid of anyone finding out.

The second time I was 15, living in Colorado after my dad left the military. I was visiting a friend in Colorado Springs and while at a mall we met some men in the Army. I was uncomfortable with them flirting with us, but she was very flirty and I didn’t think it would be a big deal since it was just the mall. She saw some friends and walked away in an argument for a short time. While we were separated, one of the army men raped me in his car. He left for Iraq the next morning and I didn’t know anything about him. I felt like I would be blamed, and again couldn’t deal with the idea of people examining me or questioning me. I hadn’t dealt with the first rape yet, and this one made it much worse. I wish I had said something, even if it ended futilely. What if he raped again while in Iraq?

I have a lot of regrets about how I never came forward about this. Now I’m 24, and I am married to someone in the Air Force. We live overseas and I have been extremely hesitant about leaving our house or making friends because of this fear of being attacked by military men. I love my husband, and the military was the best option for him – and us as a family – but sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by social anxiety.

I wrote this for the site, despite hesitation over whether it applies, because the problem the military has with sexual assault extends beyond those in the service. I have never had to deal with the pain of being silenced by superiors and forced to work with the perpetrator, so my story is different. I am another product of the rape culture the military protects. I am recently trying to get involved with being an Advocate on the base I live at. My husband thinks it will be too much for me to handle, but I want to start helping in a direct way. I have met many military women who have been victims, and men and women who advocate for them are my heroes.

4 comments

  1. You are more than welcome to post your story here and us MST survivors are here for you with open arms. Your story may be different than ours but at the same time yours is very similar to ours. If you ever need to talk we are here for you. You can email me anytime at GYRLSWEET1983@AOL.com.

  2. You are a survivor, and I commend you. Your story is valid and belongs here. I hope telling your story helps you. I hope you and your husband can continue to heal and maintain a positive relationship. My wife and I have similar issues, where she is a survivor as well. I hope you can get some counseling. Being prior military and current law enforcement, I have dealt with advocates who are well intentioned, but obviously still have many issues dealing with their own traumatic experiences with sexual assaults. This is a hinderance in some ways because those advocates have not dealt with their past experiences and it becomes problematic. Hang in there, I salute you and know you are strong and a survivor. Good luck.

  3. Hello, and thank you for sharing your story. As you stated, many are aware of this happening to service-people, but not their families. I urge you to speak to a counselor or psychologist on base that is available to the family members of military personnel. I speak similar from experience. I took advantage of resources available to speak with someone to help me get past and over many issues from my childhood and past overall, and it helped a great deal. You have not healed, as it is affecting your life. I hope you will. Good luck and God Bless.

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