Jennifer Norris, a staff member for the Military Rape Crisis Center and advisory member for Protect Our Defenders, testified today before the House Armed Service Committee regarding the abuse at Lackland Air Force Base.
Witnesses include: Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, U.S. Air Force chief of staff; Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command; David Lisak, forensic consultant; Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Cindy McNally and TSgt Jennifer Norris.
Watch the testimony here.
Read My Duty to Speak testimonies from Air Force rape survivors here.
Read Jennifer Norris’ testimony here.
Anonymous, United States Navy
I was stationed with VFA 125 at NAS Fallon NV following my dream working with F-18’s and following my grandpas steps.
In 1995 I was in my shop doing pubs while I was in between rounds while standing watch in hanger;when I was approached by 3 Petty Officers, a Chief and a Lt. I was tied down and gang raped repeatedly. My command when I reported 3 days later what happened asked what I did in my shop to cause it. The Capt felt it was more important in my opinion, to save the petty officers, chief and the Lt’s careers than me who was only an Airman.
From when I reported it til they pushed me out of command because of my drinking to try to forget everything I was a outsider and and was not listened to concerning plane maintenance. One incident that still haunts me is I replaced a HDU and I told Chief some lines had to be replaced before the bird could go back into the air. He over ruled me, cleared the bird for flight, disregarded my report and on the maintenance flight the bird crashed. It was ruled a mechanical failure.
My family does not know about this, only my fiance and my best friend who is a retired Chief and also a victim of MST. Until I met my fiance I was NEVER willing to get close to any man, I could not trust them, could not be in the room alone with them. In 97 I married my ex-husband and he raped and abused me for years. When you have family ask you what did you do to cause it it makes you truly feel that you did something to cause it.
I am a Senior Chief with the US Coast Guard. I am writing this because I need help. I mentored hundreds of people throughout my career. A SN that I mentored early on in his career made it to Chief and I helped him through every step of the way. Throughout all of these years I kept in contact with almost everyone that I ever served with. A woman that reported a rape was no exception.
After her command discovered e-mails between the rape victim and me I was forced to cease all communications with her. All the emails were professional and sent through Coast Guard email. Emails to her were similar to what I have sent to my other mentees. I advised her about staying focus and shared my experience and insight with her. Often I send out the same motivational email to all who consider me a mentor. She not once mentioned her rape or anything that might hinder the investigation.
I read every single Coast Guard story on here and it saddens me. The posting about a woman that was invited to the base and later was turned away, humiliated and harassed because she was a rape victim angers me. In another posting a woman wrote that her two brothers in the Coast Guard felt that rape victims are skanky that do not deserve even an investigation? There are the many victims that posted that they did not receive an investigation even if they wanted to go with an unrestricted reporting which is clearly against violation but who is holding anybody accountable?
The Coast Guard was very good to my family and me. I am always the first to defend every negative press about the Coast Guard from our response to the oil spill to the embarrassment of Deepwater. At this point I am lost. I am angry with the Coast Guard for putting me in a situation to choose between an organization that I love and a shipmate that was raped. I no longer want to work for an organization that tells me that I cannot speak to someone because they have been raped but I also know that my family and livelihood depends on this job.
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE HEARD: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will be holding a briefing concerning Military Sexual Trauma on Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:30 AM. Active duty and former service members, particularly those who have been victims of sexual assault are encouraged to submit written comments. These public comments may be submitted until COB Monday, February 11, 2013 and may be sent by any of three ways:
1) by mail to 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, D.C., 20425,
2) emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
3) faxed to (202) 376-1163
for further information or questions contact Panayiota Bertzikis, Executive Director, Military Rape Crisis Center at email@example.com