Army

Rape in the Army

Editor’s note: The following statement was originally posted on our facebook wall.

Anonymous, United States Army

Serving a tour of duty for female soldiers, even when it was times of peace, was very much like being a pow. You couldn’t get out, you couldn’t get help, you were called names and don’t ask don’t tell was used as leverage. You were not safe. You were not safe when you slept, nor when you bathed. You were outnumbered. You couldn’t say “oh this is a bad guy, I want to stay away from him”. Furthermore, sometimes that bad guy was your first sgt. You can look back at how many women in ratio to how many men, have been turned out for homosexuality.

When and if they kick you out of the military-they don’t just kick you out, they try to break your spirit and destroy you, then they will send you back to society. There is no justice, and the ironic thing was their ad for “an army of one” such and oxymoron, yet that is how I felt. I slept with a buck knife in my hand, I learned to trust no one. I learned that you can serve the country that you live in, but the enemy you must fear most is the one closest to you. I wish I had the power to give the government a dishonorable discharge, since they don’t know what honor is. You have to know what justice is to actually have honor.

Raped by a fellow soldier

Anonymous, United States Army

My rape happened when I and a male friend had duty (CQ) the same night which mean we were both off work the next day. He had an apartment off the waters and we both thought it would be cool to chill together and drink while everyone else was working. I was not attracted to this guy, we have never been in an relationship, and I never had an idea that he ever saw me like that because he never gave any indication otherwise. I was dressed in an Izod shirt, a pair of Lee jeans and nothing about what I had on was attractive, tight, or showed anything because to this day I dress more on the conservative side.

We were sitting around drinking when all of a sudden, he came over to the couch where I was and started rubbing up against me, and I kept telling him to stop and asking him what was he doing. After he could see that I continued to struggle and resist him, his 6[4”, 200 pds size overcame my 4’11″ 110 pds and raped me. I felt so bad after it was over, I just asked him could I take a shower, which he said yes. I took a shower and when I came out, he had the nerve to be laying on the floor in his underwear with is legs crossed as if he was a king and was really proud of what he had just done. I just asked him to take me back to the barracks. He did and I did not say a word the whole 20 minutes ride home. I never reported because of the activity we were doing and I know they would try to blame me, because this was back at a time when rape was not reported too often or was at least hard to prove, or at least that was the preception. When I got back to the barracks, I told a couple of my friends who encouraged me to report it, but again, because of what we were doing I was more afraid of the consenquences of that. Since then, I have suffered silently major chonic depression, anxieties, and social fears. I have been treated a couple of times, but as a single parent, treatment has always been short lived due to financial hardship. So, I keep it suppressed and don’t talk about it because for the most part, I think judgement would be made again because of our activity with the drinking and drugs.

United States Army recruiter RAPED

that1chick, United States Army

In 1995 I was Department of the Army selected (DA Selected) to be a recruiter. It was the most exciting time of my military career. Shortly after I finished recruiter school, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant. I believed in the Army and the NCO Creed and tried my hardest to live up to it. I believed that the Army had my back as long as I did what was expected of me—as long as I made mission.

When I got to my recruiting station in Chicago, the first thing my station commander (One of two names I will never forget) SFC ****. told me was he did not want me at his recruiting station. I should have taken that as a warning. This was the beginning of my hell on earth existing as a recruiter. In 1996 I was raped in that recruiting station by a Marine recruiter.

The next day, as a way to cope, the words of the NCO Creed resonated in my mind as I worked like a robot trying to make mission. I tried to bury what happened to me in my mind and continue my mission. I was a nervous wreck I was scared to run into SGT **** (the other name I will never forget) as I tried to do my mission. Finally, a friend in another unit, SFC ****, drove me to the police station –because I wouldn’t go myself out of fear–to file reports with them and NCIS at Great Lakes.

What a joke that turned out to be. I did the requisite rape kit and police report a few days later. I went through with it expecting to be protected and validated somehow. The local police told me they could not assist me with what happened because I was in the military. I was stonewalled by NCIS when I tried to press charges against SGT ***. Once the case was closed, I became the source of insult, ridicule, and gossip. NCIS even told me I should have been grateful that a Marine raped me.

I was rejected and dehumanized by everyone in my unit. I had a scarlet letter on my forehead. I constantly had migraine headaches and anxiety attacks because the battalion abandoned me –no one had my back. No one wanted to work with me –I had no way out of recruiting duty so had to complete my mission. As I struggled to hold onto my dignity and integrity, I became the problem child of the battalion. I almost never made mission because I was blackballed.

The MEPS disqualified my applicants so I had to work weekends to try to do it. SFC **** refused to transfer me out of the recruiting station or assist me in any way. The entire battalion knew what happened to me, they whispered about it and called me a slut and wacko behind my back. The female recruiters denigrated and rejected me as if I was lying about being raped by the bastard.

I had to look at my rapist every day for six months until my complaints finally reached the brigade Sergeant Major. He forced SFC **** to transfer me to another recruiting station. The rumors got to my new recruiting station faster than I did. The transfer did no good, nothing changed. The command ultimately continued to disqualify my applicants so I would not earn my gold badge (even though I had the points) when my tour ended.

Even after I left recruiting I was blackballed and as a result lost my career in 1999. In 2000 I enrolled in school to put the pieces of my life together and build a stable life for myself. In hindsight, I now realize how naïve that was. Since then, I can’t recall a time when I was totally at peace during that tour or since then. I was even going to the DOD websites to see if the bastard was killed in Iraq. Back then, I felt like a failure and I am still haunted by the memories. I still like a handicapped woman. It takes a lot for me to trust males.

Over the years, because of the lack of resources back then, pre 9/11, I had been laid off from jobs because I did not know how to manage my disability to function. With help from my family, I found resources for help. Still, in the veterans’ community MST survivors are often not recognized. There seems to be some stereotype or prototype of disabled veterans. When I got rides in the DAV van to my VA appointments, the other male veterans looked critically at me as if I didn’t pass muster or they hit on me. When it dawned on me that going to the VA in and of itself, was a trigger of my disability, I talked to my doctor to find safe places for me to go when I came for appointments. I continue to be optimistic by keeping my faith in God because he is my strength and my help.

Army War veteran/MST veteran adjusting to going back to school.

Anonymous, United States Army

I am a 28 years old Army war veteran. I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that resulted from being raped while serving. I am a student attending a small yet prestigious liberal art college. There have been talk on here about military sexual assault survivors returning to college and I have added my two cents but feel that there is so much more to say.

I went back to classes today after a long weekend. I was able to complete most of my work and academic wise I am doing fine. Emotionally I am a mess when sitting in my classes. I sit in the back seat always, partly due to my PTSD and safety and partly because I feel that nobody should have to see me. I sit quietly with tears rolling down my eyes. For no reason other than I feel like an outside. I feel like I am ostracized. I simply do not have anything to say to the 19 years olds in my class who are living without a care in the world.

It is being ostracized that is the worst. It brings such emotion from my time in the Army that I feel like I am back every time I step inside a classroom. I know that my classmates are not doing it on purpose. I  know that I do not make myself the most approachable while wearing my BDU blouse and sitting in the back crying but the hurt is still all the same. I can put on a fake smile and pretend to care about the keg party that is going on that evening but quite frankly I could care less. I don’t want to change who I am to make friends. I want to make friends who understand what I have been through.

Most who attend my college are wealthy, suburban kids straight out of high school. They were just starting high school, some were still in Junior High when I was being raped in a war zone.  They do not have much real life experience. At times I just want to scream that there is more to life than the mall.  I want to scream to them that there is more to life than parties. I want to scream to them that I WAS RAPED. I WAS TOLD THAT I AM A LIAR. I LOST MY CAREER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THAT MAKES ME FEEL? Instead I keep quiet and sit in the back alone.

We do not have a veterans organization or support on campus. Veterans Day came and went with more thought on being another free day off than the meaning behind the day. Like last year I requested a ceremony to honor our military on Veterans Day and they felt that it was not appropriate. They instead display books on Veterans in the library as we are some sort of case study and said that they are doing more than enough to observe Veterans day. Last year during a showing of the film Lioness I requested to be part of the panel to  answer questions about the film. I was denied because I did not have enough experience. I did not have the credentials or the degree to speak about women at war. According to my college a PhD who read books on combat has more credentials than a war veteran to speak about war.

My college  wants to put me on a medical leaves of absence while I deal with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The idea of not being able to go back to college in the spring scares me. The idea of not having anything to do next semester scares me. I was actually looking forward to the spring semester and felt that it’ll be a change from the norm. I signed up for 2 on-line course, an internship, leaving only 2 classes to be taken on campus one is the internship class which only meets a few times a semester so pretty much just one three credit class which I think was manageable. The Dean of Students contacted my Professors and a couple wrote back saying that I make them feel uncomfortable, that I make them feel unsafe. I sit in the back of the classroom, alone and do my work. I am sorry that I make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. I am sorry if being a quiet, depressed veteran scares you. I fought to protect your freedom and I’ll never hurt you.

I feel the same emotions that I felt when I received my discharged papers. I am no longer wanted. I am broken. Something is wrong with me. As I watch my classmates without a worry in the world caring more about the keg party than the final papers I feel envious. I know that they have a greater chance of graduating college than I do. I know that they have a greater chance of being happy than I do. I know that they have a greater chance of living out their goals than I do. Yes I am envious of them.

 

Army Officer convicted of sexual harassment and assault . Allowed to keep full retirement pension.

Col. Michael Robertson – a Fort Bliss officer with nearly 40 years of service and commanded the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Afghanistan, will only spend three months in military prison after he was convicted today of sexual harassment and assault; a punishment that most find to be a slap in the face for sexual assault survivors. Upon the end of his prison term Col. Robertson will be able to retire and keep his full taxpayer funded pension.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Army Officer convicted of sexual harassment and assault . – National Women in the Military | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/women-the-military-in-national/army-officer-convicted-of-sexual-harassment-and-assault#ixzz1eMC8LP1Q

Soldier writes about her rapes.

Jana, United States Army

Well, here it is.. another night I am up crying and shaking, and with every second my eyes are closed tight, all I can see are the filthy pigs on top of me. Maybe talking about it will finally help me release some resentment I have held since my deployment in 2006? Let’s see, first there was my so called battle buddy, SPC  ****, an older married guy who came off as my friend yet got me incredibly drunk and had his way with me a few times. Telling me all kinds of horse shit any 19 year old would believe. Stupid me for believing he would leave his wife for me. Well, next there was my E-7 SFC *** that forced his tongue down my throat and his hand down my pants after shoving me in a corner after hours. Me, 19 years old, and he, married and awaiting the birth of his first child he KEPT. All the girls swooned over him. I made them jealous, secretly.

Our little secret. I never spoke a word of it because he was in really well with the command. He retired last April as a Master Sergeant with full retirement. If only I spoke up. I came home from deployment in Sept. 2007 (guess this is why these things are haunting me again). I got married in Dec 2007 to my friend and long time infatuation from high school. He joined the Navy and we moved to South Carolina. He cheated on me with a 13 year old (he was 20) and instead of me pressing charges for adultery – the bastard told me to just take everything I wanted. He ended up getting discharged 2 years later honorably due to medical conditions. He’s been married and now has a kid, living happily ever after. I’m. still. messed. up. I never gave myself a relief period from the war to transitioning back into the civilian life. So, now with a divorce pending, what does a girl do? She drinks heavily. She parties every weekend. She shows up to work with a hangover. She has sex with random dudes just to hear she’s wanted, just never needed. I was never needed ever again. I thought feeling wanted was enough, even if it fizzled out after a few days, weeks.

I’ll never forget everyone’s favorite First Sergeant, 1SG ****, who took me out for shots the day I made my E-5 in 2009. We took a shot for every rank I’ve held in the Army, then talked for hours about everything. After insisting he was not attracted to me “like that”, tell me how I end up in his hotel room half naked with him about to put it in? I bolted. I drove on base drunk as hell and cried myself to sleep. The Unit Victim Advocate and CDR counseled the 1SG with me in the room, and he was put on “probation” for six months. I left the unit on voluntary terms, and later found out he was promoted to Sergeant Major. So… I speak up… and he gets promoted?

My most haunting experience was when I was at a local bar in Beaufort, SC with some Navy friends of mine. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday, and I got really drunk and didn’t realize my friends left me there alone. I started being a social butterfly and ended up going home with random Marines. I remember walking up to the house and what the hallways looked like. I remember telling him I would sleep on the couch, I just wanted to sleep. I remember him taking off my jeans and my statement “Ahh no, I didn’t shave my legs!” then I woke up the next morning, completely nude and look over and he’s laughing at me. I’m like.. “Uh, did we have sex?” He laughs again and was like “Duh”. He takes a shower and I’m left smelling like a used condom. I saw it on the floor and was so hung over and in shock I didn’t think to keep it for evidence. At first I didn’t think it should bother me, I’ve hooked up with dudes before… but this just made me feel horrible.

I did a rape kit and police report..5 days later. I was still unsure about what I should have done. The guy lied on his police statement, so I never went further with charges. He got off clean. Just like all the other assholes. I ended up contracting chlamydia from this asshole. Talk about feeling like a dirty slut. To this day, I am still haunted by these memories. It has ruined every relationship I’ve had since I returned from Iraq. I do not trust males in my units. I feel like I’m a joke to the military – like I can be pushed around because I’m so easy to walk all over.

I’ve been in 6 years and honestly I’m over it. I want out. I harbor so much pain and animosity and feel like no one is listening to my silent screams. I’ve been suicidal since these events. I cut up my hips really bad.. so I wouldn’t be attractive to anyone. I didn’t want to be hurt by any more filthy pigs. I don’t want to be the joke anymore. After my last suicidal episode last month (overdosing) I was put on Celexa with the VA. I’m hoping to FINALLY start seeing someone for MST counseling. At this point, I don’t know what they could do except NUMB the hurt. The memories will always be there.

MST Veteran feels left out

Mary V. United States Army

In 2007 I was raped 6 months into my services with the Army. I reported the rape and my rapist were never prosecuted. Instead, I was viewed as being mentally unstable and as a result lost my career in 2008. In 2009 I enrolled in school to take advantage of the GI Bill and had a difficult time.

I attend a large state school. We have tens of thousands of students and we have a very active veterans organization. The first group on campus that I joined was the Veterans organization. I was treated with a cold shoulder yet still wanting to be accepted I will continue attending their meetings and events.

On Veterans’ Day we had a dinner event on campus. We were given stickers to wear for which conflict we were apart of. If you were never deployed you do not get a sticker. Each table was dedicated to each conflict. If you served in Iraq or Afghanistan you get the two best tables in the house up front. If you served in Vietnam you get the table right behind them. If you were never deployed you get to sit in the back behind the pole behind the professors, staff and others who may not be veterans.

I served a total of 11 months. When the Student Director of the Veterans’ Organization asked me how long I served he said “well you not really a veteran”. An assistant director said that I was “lucky to never have deployed” I wanted to tell them that I wanted to serve longer, that I enlisted with the desire to make it a career then I was raped and forced out but I could not tell them that. I rather have been deployed because I would be viewed as a hero and not a traitor for reporting rape.

It is hurtful when male student veterans won’t acknowledge what us women veterans may have gone through. Through my classes I met other women veteran who are not part of the veterans organization for reasons that they also feel left out.

During sexual assault awareness month I spoke to the veterans’ organization to have an event for military sexual trauma. They denied it and said that it was not “relevant to their mission” so I went to the counseling center and women center who was organizing various events on campus for sexual assault awareness month and asked if I can plan an event for military sexual trauma and they responded by saying that they “can not single out one group of people” and my request to do something MST-related was once again denied.

In the veterans community MST survivors are often shun out and not welcomed. In the feminist community veterans are often shun out and not welcomed. Even among women veterans community MST veterans are often shun out and not welcomed. I posted on a women veterans’ organization facebook wall and they deleted it because according to the admin they did not want women veterans to only be known as having MST but also to be known for all their accomplishments. Surviving MST is an accomplishment in itself. Read the stories on here. We all deserve medals.

Emotionally sitting in class is difficult. I always sit in the corner and that is my safe spot. If I don’t come to class early enough and someone takes my seat I break down in tears because I am overwhelmed in panic.  I cannot have male professors and can only deal with women professors.  It is so difficult. I tried to go to counseling on campus and the counselor did not understand the military structure but did try to convince me that she did because she read an article about military sexual trauma.

It is so difficult being an MST survivor.

Slut-shaming the US Military way.

By Panayiota Bertzikis

Hey y’all did you hear I am a  “psyco [sic] jizz gobbler” and a “slam pig” Of course you heard it-rape survivor and name calling they go hand in hand. Its okay. I know that if Mother Theresa (RIP MT) was ever raped she would probably have been called a slut. My colleague and best friend in the whole entire world-sisters not related by blood but I love this girl to death-Melissa was raped in the Air Force and then rumors flew like wild (no pun intended) that she had slept with THE ENTIRE AIR FORCE-ALL 350,000 of them! That must be some sort of world record. Wait in less than a year time did you say? God damm it Melissa you were one busy lady. Yes, she knows that I am writing about her as we are both on FB chat as I am writing this rolling our cyber eyes at how dumb the rape culture is. This is just what the rape shamers, rape apologists, rape excusers-whatever you want to call them-do to rape survivors. They  come in any any rank, age, ethnic group-it can be a man as much as it can be a woman. It can be anyone.  They call rape survivors psycho, tell us that we are at fault for what happened and of course call us sluts. It is called rape culture and slut shaming, more on that later. To the Coast Guardsman that  called me a jizz gobbler-no hard feelings I can not take seriously anyone that does not use real words.

The person who allegedly called me this was a Captain (he must have teenage kids at home or something.) For those not up to part with the teenage slangs of the minute (its okay at the age of 29 I already look at teenagers with the utterly confused WTH does that mean look. Wait I did that when I was 16 too-god I was always such a dork.)

Here are the definitions according to Urban Dictionary

Jizz gobbler: One who engages in the act or practice of ingesting semen in a rapid or enthusiastic manner.

Slam pig: a girl that is such a slut and has been fucked so many times, that most men realize she has some kind of venereal disease and decide not to go near her

Jizz Globbler and Slam pig seriously Captain? This makes absolutely zero fucking sense when it comes to describing a rape survivor.

Let just say that I really am a Jizz Gobbler (isn’t that the funniest fake word ever?) and let just say Melissa really did sleep with the entire Air Force willingly then why will we be raped? Did Melissa sleep with 349,999 airmen and then the 350,000th she cried rape? Can someone tell me how this work? We’ll be sluts (I know women should be able to sleep with how many people she wants without being labeled but follow me on this)  and go about our slutty ways and we’ll like it cause well that is just what a slut does and that’s fine if that is what you are into.  Bottom line:  YOU CAN NOT RAPE THE WILLING.

But  all jokes aside we have been raped as have one in three women who are serving in the United States Armed Forces. Yes I know you probably all know this but  this is for you Captain I called my shipmate a psyco jizz gobbler. The definition of rape under the Uniform Code of Justice is:

Article 120, Rape, sexual assault, and other sexual misconduct.

Rape

By using force: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by using force against that other person.

By causing grievous bodily harm: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by causing grievous bodily harm to any person.

By using threats or placing in fear: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping.

By rendering another unconscious: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by rendering that other person unconscious.

Yep some heavy stuff there. Not one word about sluts, sleeping around or jizz gobbling. The use of one’s force in a sexual manner to control and imply fear onto another person. Rape is done against the will of the victim. Again, if we willingly sleep with every man who remotely glance our way then it is impossible to be raped. Sluts says yes, rape victims say NO. My very good friend Jenny, an US Navy rape survivor and kick ass woman, said it the best: “ If we all wanted it, we would be back for more and not reporting rapes.” I agree with Jenny and you should to!

However we are living in a rape culture and in that all women who are having sex are sluts. Survivors are  slut-shamed  into thinking that they are at fault for being raped–for no other than because they are sluts! Every woman who I know who reported a rape was slut-shamed, even women who were not raped are often slut-shamed. Basically if you are a woman living today you have been called a slut at some point in your life. She had sex (consensual) with someone and she is called a slut. Even if you are a virgin you are a slut! I heard the media calling 5 years old girls slutty–five years old girls? What message is that sending them and all who heard?.  If you say yes to sex you are called a slut or if you say no you are called a slut. Either way women who are having sex or not having sex are being called sluts. This is called slut-shaming.

Slut Shaming is attacking women for their sex lives. For rape survivors it goes even further in that it attack survivors of sexual assault and rape by shaming her and making everyone-including the survivor to think that she “asked to be raped” . I have worked with over 6500 military sexual assault and rape survivors and from my professional humble opinion I do not think any one of my clients ever asked to be raped. Again if we asked to have sex it is consensual and therefore not rape.

Slut shaming comes in so many different forms. If you are a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma you’ll probably could relate to any one or more of the following examples of Slut-Shaming:

Straight out being called a Slut: Can’t get anymore simple. Calling a rape survivor a slut because well you know only sluts get raped. They may say it to our face but more often they don’t have the courage to do so they’ll go around our back, tell the entire crew, maybe post it on-line and use cutesy made up fake words like Jizz Gobbler. It does not matter what the survivor’ sexual history is-if she was a virgin at time of rape or if she slept with 80 men-it does not matter. According to rape-shamers if you been raped you are a jizz gobbler slam pig and that’s that.

Morning After Remorse: This often, but not always, goes along with drinking. You went out with some guys in which you just spent over a year with in Afghanistan. You drank to being back home in the USA and after 2 drinks you start to feeling a bit light-headed. You not sure what is happening cause normally it takes you more than 2 drinks to feel anything. Next thing you know you wake up and are half-naked. Any sane person can see that you were probably drugged. Your comrades and rape apologists though will cry “Morning After Remorse”. According to them you drank too much, you slept around and then went “oops I slept with the wrong man last night.”  What they fail to see is that us normal folks, you know none-rapists, when we are out with a buddy that may have drank too much we make sure that they are safe, we take away their car keys, drive them home and not use it as an opportunity to have sex with them as they are passed out in their own vomit. Rapist though use it as their chance to have sex without your consent (you can not consent if you drank too much–or been drugged). NO CLEAR YES=RAPE.

Imaginary curfew: I understand that some military installations do have curfews for all and if you out beyond curfew time and you get raped it is still not your fault. At one point the military had “women only curfews” in that a woman can not leave her barrack room after a certain hour without a male escort. When they came to realize that over 80% of women are raped by somebody that they know so a woman has a higher chance of being raped by the male escort than by a complete stranger walking alone they scratched that idea. Today though most posts do not have any curfews. As long as you performing your duties and following all regulations you can pretty much come and go as you please. If you on liberty and want to make a milk run to the 24-hours grocery story at 2am you most likely could. Unless of course you been raped. Rape apologists will argue that you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation by being out when it is dark. If you are out later than when your grandmother goes to bed you are a SLUT just begging, wanting to be raped. They are more concern on why you were out and about at 2am than the fact that you been raped.

You consent once, you consent always. So you been dating a guy or you thought some guy was cute and was making out with him at the bar or you are married or you been with a guy but you no longer together or you totally crushing on a guy and everybody knows it and then he rapes you. Whatever sexual acts that you did prior to the rape does not make the rape any less of a rape. Rape excusers though would blame victim. You were seen at the bar making out with him-and then you went to his room. You were asking for it! Well not exactly,  just because someone was making out with someone does not mean that they consent to every single sexual act. You slept with him and been dating. Having sex once-or once a day with someone does not give consent to have sex every single time. You are married to him. When you take your vows you do not give up your right to consent. Stupid arguments from stupid rape-apologists trying to do nothing other than SLUT-SHAME a survivor.

Fashion Police: So you chose to enlist in the military, graduated with honors from basics and MOS school, and right before your first deployment you fall victim of a rape. Next thing you know you in a room talking about the “evil of miniskirts and tank tops” and its all going so fast that for a second you wondered how Joan Rivers got herself a Marine Corps uniform and an M16 until you realized that it was your NCO and he is talking about red mini skirts and low-cut tanks. Why is he talking about  fashion when you guys are deploying in 10 days? Two words: SLUT SHAMING. What we were wearing when we got raped, whatever that outfit was, is the reason we were raped or so they try to make us and everyone else believe.  If we were in a red mini skirt(totally slutty), jeans and a tee-shirt (slutty but depending on how tight our jeans are we may be playing hard to get but still slutty) or our BDUs (well it looks slutty on us cause you know we have boobs and all). By blaming the victim and slut-shaming into making everyone including the survivor feel that she is at fault for what happened then how could they punish the rapist? It was the sweatpants and t-shirt that made him do it! Just to let you know whatever a rape survivor wears is going to be viewed as slutty. We can never win.

There is a movement called Slut Walk. It all started last winter in Toronto  when a police officer told an audience of college students at York University that in order to not be raped women should “stop dressing like slut”. Were people pissed! We are living in a culture that tells women to not get raped, instead of men to not rape. They took it to the streets, there have been Slutwalks in DC, Dubai, London, literally everywhere and on these walks women and men can dress up however slutty that they desire-some wore miniskirts and high heels, others in Burkas. Melissa and I attended a Slutwalk wearing our military uniforms. The message is ‘My outfit does not consent to you raping me’. Women get raped regardless if they are wearing a burka, a red mini skirt or the uniform of the US Coast Guard. For those in the Phoenix, AZ area I’ll be a speaker at the Phoenix Slutwalk talking about slut-shaming in the Coast Guard. Holler back if you interested in attending.

The military likes to control it people. They tell us what to wear, when to eat, where to live, when we can leave the military regardless of what our contract says-so if they can breach our military enlistment contract and get away with it why can’t they tell men and women that it is not okay to tell a victim of rape that she is…a crazy, lying or a slut? The slut-shaming is starting from the top (Remember Captain I called my shipmate a psyco jizz gobbler?) and making it way down the ranks.

I want to give you some solution to make slut-shaming go away but it is so ingrained in the military  institution as well as non-military rape culture that it is going beyond just a few bad apples.

As I said we live in a culture that slut-shame women for their every move. What can you do to help eliminate the rape culture and slut-shaming. Here are some ideas:

1. Don’t tell rape jokes or sexist jokes. Tell others why they are not funny! Need help? Go here.

2. Don’t blame women for rape. We are not raped because we are out at 2am, went out for beers with the guys or because our uniform looks “sexy” on us. The person who is to blame is the RAPIST!

3. Don’t call someone a slut or use fake words that mean slut! Women can sleep with whoever she wants (as long as it is consensual for all parties involved) without being called names. Whoever you sleep with just make sure that it is safe sex!

4. Reach out to rape survivors on post. Telling them that they you believe them and that they are not fault is the most wonderful thing to hear for someone who has to deal with rape-apologists every single day.

5. Support rape survivors. Support people who support rape survivors. Volunteer at the Military Rape Crisis Center or a rape crisis center in your community or volunteer to be a Victim Advocate!

Sailor drugged and raped by 3 Army Soldiers

Rebcaa Blumer, United States Navy

On February 13, 2010, I was drugged and raped by 3 Army Soldiers the day before they shipped off to Afghanistan. I was beaten and bloody and bruised and washed by my rapists. I reported my rape to the ER the next morning. I decided to go unrestricted in my reporting. DNA was found on my underwear, since I was washed, all they had was proof they touched by underwear. From the moment I told my command, I was asked “Did you inflict these injuries yourself?” “Did you imagine or dream it?” On April 30, 2011, I was separated from the Navy because I decided to fight and not sit back and let the Navy do nothing about my rape. I was given an honorable discharge for misconduct(serious offense). What was my serious offense? Allowing myself to get drugged and raped against my will. Over a year of torture from my fellow Sailors and Command all came to an abrupt end when I left the Navy and moved 4 states away. Before my rape, I had an officer package in and was ranked #1 in my command. After my rape, I was a “dirt bag” “whore” “trouble maker” “drama queen”. My rapists are still in the Army and as far as I know, still serving in Afghanistan. Have they raped others? I am sure of it….My only wish is that some day, all my suffering will be worth something and they will be put away for life!

Abuse in the United States Army

SPC4, Anonymous Solider, United States Army

I joined the Army for a better life. When I arrived at Ft. Jackson, SC for basic training and assigned to a unit, as we recuits disemparked from the “cattle car”, two drill sergeants were separating the females into two groups. These groups were attractive and unattractive. The attractive females were housed near the drill sergeants office. We were given “special priviledges”, ie., able to leave the fort in the evening, going to the Drill Sergeants’ private home for partying ect… No KP, no guard duty… but with all this came a price, eventally, cohereced into sexual intercourse with a number of different drill sergeants. We complied for the fear the being “thrown out of the Army”, and charged with fraternization. When I finally went to AIT at Ft. Jackson also, the cycle began all over again.

When I arrived at my PDS, from the 1st Sergeant down to the platoon leader tried to seduce me and some of those were married men. I was working one day and one of DI’s from Ft. Jackson, tracked me down (he was reassigned to Germany) and began calling me. I would not take his calls and then he began showing up at the Kaserne on the weekends. Once I strained my ankle and went to sick call. I was put in a cast and awaiting the bus to return me to the kaserne. I was approached by a Major, who offered me a ride because “it would be difficult to board the bus”. I found out a few days later when he called my unit and asked to speak with me, he was the hospital administrator.

All of this was over 30 years ago, I was a young girl of 18 and contantly was harrassed. There was a Ssgt. who finally told me to report certain incidents to the commander. At that time I was lucky enough to have a commander who helped me with what I had gone through. One time I was suppose to attend a conference, along with my section superviors (SFC) and the 1st Sgt. was also attending. The 1st Sgt.s orders were cancelled and while at the conference, the secions supervisor entered by room dressed in a bath towel.. 4am. in the morning… there was no lock on the adjoining rooms. God Bless the women who are serving our country now. I hope they do not encounter the “idiots” that I did.