Navy

Raped and retaliated against in the U.S Navy.

Anonymous, United States Navy

It took a lot of courage to come forward and report I had been sexually assaulted by my army supervisor (e-7) and his Afghan colleague who both worked for the 3star Army command general.

I thought there would be an investigation and that I would be allowed to continue doing my job, especially with other women in my same shop coming forward and reporting similar actions from the same supervisor around the same time as me. I turned down his advances and he said, “that’s okay because even if you’re not into me, I have an associate who is also interested in you for sex.” But my words fell on deaf ears when my supervisor once again cornered and attacked me at work.

I did not make it back to my barracks room the same night without being forcibly raped by his associate, and one of the guys at the next base they moved me to joked in front of my new co-workers (my third day there after my navy e-9 called ahead and warned the new command I had been raped and was somehow now “their problem” to be “dealt with”) that he would be the next to rape me (after I learned I would have to do detainee ops and sort through decapitated body parts instead of my job as an IT as punishment for coming forward while the three star covered up the investigation because it was an election year and spearheaded 3 years of retaliation and mistreatment that cost me my career and barred me from getting accurate, ethical medical care, especially after I reported HIPAA violation at the next place I was transferred). Being assaulted was bad enough.

I did not officially enter hell until I spoke up about it and the military commands did everything in their power to distract me, discredit me, demoralize me, and destroy my once promising career as they railroaded me out of the service for political reasons.

U.S Soldier raped at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Anonymous, United States Army

I am stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, originally from New Jersey. I never said anything  about this because I was embarrassed because I broke down and took a plea deal where he plead guilty to adultery.

He was supposed to receive a letter of reprimand, to be confined for 45 days, to undergo 45 days of hard labor, to be restricted for 45 days, and to be reduced in rank to E-3. ..well I JUST now got an email from the Department of the Navy stating he was administratively discharged on 12 April 2013. And that “although I am approving this sentence, no hard labor without confinement or period of restriction was initiated prior to administrative separation” …an email 6 months after the fact, with a letter that was dated 26 April, basically saying “Oh, I’m sorry, he only did half of his punishment.”Which was an already reduced punishment in my opinion for what I’ve gone through because of him! ..I’m not sure what you can do with this information, but I figure someone should hear this besides the people he that have done NOTHING for me. I HOPE YOU CAN USE THIS STORY FOR SOMETHING GOOD!

On September 9, 2011 I lost all my trust in the military. That’s the night I decided to go out with someone I met through work, HM2, USN. I had worked with HM2 for a few weeks when he asked me to go with him and a few other co-workers to celebrate his last weekend in Bethesda. I agreed to this because I was under the impression it was going to be a group gathering. I wrote my phone number down on a piece of paper for him to contact me with the details, I was only told it was going to be a Friday night. He never contacted me but instead just showed up to my place of duty and offered to give me a ride to Downtown DC where we were to meet the others. No one else ended up showing up but I stayed and we danced at a few different clubs.

That night ended in a hotel room that I do not remember getting to. Between that moment and the next morning, I have hazy, intermittent memories of him having sex with me. The next morning I tried to forget it ever happened, I wanted to forget I ever met him. But that is when he continuously placed phone calls to my place of duty and even went as far as to drive 45 minutes out of his way to, I believe, intimidate me. The last phone call he placed is when I was blindsided with the information that this person is married, has three children, and has herpes. I wanted this to all go away, to forget it ever happened, but he chose to, once again, do the wrong thing.

I feel betrayed in two ways: I feel betrayed as a woman and I feel betrayed by the Navy as a soldier. I am 23 years old, hardworking, intelligent, and caring. I would never hurt someone on purpose. I would never maliciously attack, violate, or intimidate someone. Joining the Army is the only thing that has taken me away from home. I feel like some of my innocence was lost. The fact that I cannot remember getting to the hotel room has made me very depressed and has left me crippled with anxiety. Most of the anxiety stems from the fact that I cannot remember what happened, playing it back in my mind, wondering if just would have done “this” or “that”…maybe he wouldn’t have done this to me.

Sometimes I wake up out of my sleep, panicking, and lock myself in the bathroom until I can calm myself down. Other times I dream that I am trying to scream for help, but no noise comes out of my mouth. I feel so disgusting and horrible. This person also put me at risk of contracting an incurable disease. Thankfully, I have tested negative for herpes. During the time all of this happened I was taking two college classes. I received my first “D” and second “C” in my academic career. My goal in September 2011 was to get my Bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging by January 2013. I also had specific goals to reach professionally, but I have yet to get that motivation back.

As a soldier, we are taught that being a Non-Commissioned Officer is an honor and a privilege bestowed upon those who earn it. That it’s a position held by someone who has not only proven themselves as a soldier, but as a leader. An NCO swears to “at all times conduct one’s self so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service, and their country” and to “never compromise their integrity”…but HM2 chose to bring shame to the military and himself. An NCO is something that I whole-heartedly aspired to be before this happened; now, I struggle with my motivation to continue to reach my goals and I no longer want to re-enlist and be a career soldier. This has affected not only me but my work place at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Radiology Department.

This “NCO” – HM2 – showed up to the Radiology department multiple times after he PCS’d down to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. The first two times I didn’t say anything. Then he called. And after I found out he was married he showed up again after calling a few times. All of this calling and showing up to work made me nervous and not a productive member of the team. And the phone calls took time that none of us had because we are a very busy department. The last time he showed up to work was a Friday, which is a flight night for us, we are busy. When I told a co-worker to ask him to leave he didn’t leave. So I waited about 15 minutes and he was still there. That’s when my co-worker got my Army NCO, SGT and I told him what happened and that HM2 needed to leave.

At that point three productive members to the Radiology team, on one of the busiest nights, were unavailable because HM2 would not leave. Not only were we unavailable for a portion of the night, I had to leave for the remainder of the shift because SGT told me to leave and go to a friend’s house to be safe. I was grilled and interrogated as if I had been the one who had done wrong, then I was given the run-around as to whom my counsel was and what, if any, progress was being made with this case. I can’t help but feel this is a systematic process that weeds out the faint of heart and tries to scare victims of assault into thinking that there isn’t a chance in hell that justice will be brought forth and they will be protected.

I gave my blessing for this plea deal because after 16 months, I cannot endure anymore. I have been treated like a criminal. I was re-victimized by Navy JAG officers who berated me for wanting to get an order of protection from this person who had already shown behavior that would warrant one. I would not have been put in this situation and treated the way I have been for the past 16 months had it not been for HM2’s actions the night of September 9, 2011 and thereafter with him showing up to work.

 

Mother speaks out about her rape as one of the first female Naval Aircrew Members

Ellen, United States Navy

My teenage son plans to apply for West Point, and it is my dream to help leave a legacy for him, including a fair and safe military. As he and I have discussed his goals, I’ve come to realize that I should tell my story to prevent what happened to me in 1989, during my enlistment as one of the Navy’s first female aircrew member, to prevent this from happening to future generations.

I have reached out to MST Survivors through social media, joined forces to help our newest survivors, and rallied around the movement which supports measures like the Military Justice Improvement Act. The MJIA takes the reporting, investigation, adjudication and victim care for cases out of the local unit chain of command. In my case, no one could have helped me, while I remained under the command and control of the aircrew culture which collectively had no regard for my presence among them. It’s unconscionable to me that the same climate exists today, as when I didn’t report my rapes, believing that my rapes were planned as retaliation for invading the “all boys club.” Just like me more than 20 years ago, I’ve learned 90 percent of victims are still afraid to report.

My rape occurred after I was selected to be the first enlisted female to attend Air Crew School. It was 1988, when I was raped, and I had just finished technical training as a Cryptologist, when I was 19. I believe I was selected for aircrew training because I was expected to fail, being that I wasn’t the best student in my tech school. I was very young, and thought surely a senior female Cryptologist already in the fleet would be better qualified. But, I accepted the challenge, and enjoyed the aircrew, and survival, schools, required to fly as a Cryptologist. The first evidence of the discord I was walking into happened after training.

I was assigned to a Naval Air Squadron, in Spain. On the first night at my new squadron, a group of senior co-workers took me to a Sangria bar in town. That evening, my co-workers disappeared leaving me stranded in a bar, in a new country. Unaware of the stigma of placing a female among the crew, I couldn’t understand why I was left behind? Trying to find my way back to the barracks, I felt very confused and frightened.

My first deployment from Spain, was to Athens Greece. As the only female of a 25 man crew, it quickly became clear that I had invaded a very tight fraternity, and my presence was resented. During the first night there, I was told that every time a newbie deploys they go out for “six shots of tequila.” I decided to go through with the initiation; my plan was to return to my room to sleep off the alcohol. It wasn’t uncommon for underage service members to drink while deployed during those days. But the next day, I learned I’d suffered a very different fate than a simple drinking-game initiation into the aircrew.

A female officer who had a room next to mine pulled me aside to tell me she heard men coming back from the bars, and knocking on my hotel door, throughout the night. Each time she opened her door they went away. I was horrified. The female officer made a report to our command, and an executive order immediately came down that our squadron prohibited all initiation drinking games, now that women were flying. From then on, I was totally isolated. Rumors were spreading that I had slept with more than one of the men on the aircrew. When their wives were present, I was avoided, and not included in social circles. My fellow air crew members avoided talking to me, and if they did, it was impersonal. I never felt so alone, like a stranger in a strange land.

Eventually, I was sent on another deployment to Greece. I felt I could manage my interactions with people to ensure what happened on my first deployment, didn’t happen again. So one evening, when I was asked by a quiet, married crew member to join him for a drink, I felt it was a safe, low-risk opportunity to socialize. The last thing I remember is having one drink with this man. I am confident I was drugged. The following morning I woke up black, blue and purple from head to toe. I had severe bruising and swelling between my legs. My vagina was raw. I was covered with vomit and bodily fluids. The man I had had one drink with was still there. But the bruising and the mess that was made in the night told me, there had been more than one visitor to my room. I soaked in a bath to rid myself of the disgustingness that was done to my body. I put on a turtle neck under my flight-suit to hide my bruised neck, and went to work broken.

We flew a very long mission that day, and no one made eye contact with me. I was convinced that all the male officers and enlisted, who wanted to get to me after the tequila initiation, finally got their chance to rape me. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, I will never know because I was too afraid to tell, and the situation was never investigated. I’m haunted by the possibility of what might have happened to me, unprotected, alone and betrayed. And I’m haunted by what did happen. Betrayal by someone I thought could be a safe place during a deployment, someone I could just talk to about our work, and the next day’s mission. I knew telling would cause me to lose my job; I was so young and afraid of these older, married aircrew members and their wives. Without proof, I’d most likely be charged with underage drinking, and feared even worse repercussions than social isolation that happened due to false rumors.

Once we returned to Spain from deployment, I was harassed by wives and girlfriends. They all suspected that I was having an affair with all of their spouses! I couldn’t reconcile how one man drugging and raping me, equated to the escalation of social stigmatization. I was dating a service member who had returned back to the states. Rumors reached him and he broke up with me. I never tried to explain my story to him, due to shame. As a result, my performance didn’t meet standards, and I was removed from air crew. I was placed in jobs where I didn’t have much contact with people. Thankfully, a female Master Chief took me under her wing. She was Christian so I started attending church at missionary houses, and was eventually baptized. I also met a very nice group of runners and tri-athletes whom I bonded with, and spent most time, off training, practicing to meet physical training standards, and races.

I believe God saved me from hurting myself, during the aftermath, by sending me compassionate people to help me. I separated from active duty in 1992, when I was 21; returned home and immediately joined the reserves and started college, repressing all of the sexual harassment, the personal attacks, and the rapist. My time in the reserves was very positive. Without stress, I was able to flourish, learn, and earn the respect of my co-workers. I was even selected to serve at a Joint Task Force several times to work in anti-narcotics. In 1994, I married, and in 1997 we had our first child. So, I decided to leave the reserves. Over the years I have not been able to forget my attack. I’ve had random bouts of anger when I’ve realize what I was cheated out of back in Spain. My innocence taken, my body defiled my reputation in ruins. I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and detachment from post traumatic stress disorder. I can’t fly in an aircraft without being heavily medicated, or I have severe unmanageable panic attacks. When I see aircraft flying above me I’m triggered. I do have shame for not reporting my attack, shame from taking part in underage drinking. I have health consequences, bladder conditions, and fibromyalgia. All of which stems from the horrific rape and aftermath I survived.

When I hear of the suicidality, errant mental health diagnosis, homelessness and poverty today’s MST Survivors are enduring, I wonder what I would have done, had I not had such an incredible support system with my husband who agreed that I should stay home to raise a family. I’ve found peace, as much as possible, in burying myself in my family life. I’ve dedicated myself to a life of service fostering 13 medically-fragile newborns, and working with a non-profit in Washington State to advocate for foster children. And yet, in my heart of hearts, I know that I have not reached my full potential, according to who I am as a woman, because of my fears of leaving the safe inner circle of my family. I know that thousands of survivors suffer a much worse fate.

More than twenty years later, it’s clear nothing has changed, things have gotten worse, and something must be done about this, now. Getting injured in the line of duty is one thing. But enabling a rapist, tolerating a culture which tolerates them, where they can hide undetected, is another. I believe it is our duty to speak out, and demand our government right these wrongs. It is unfortunate that to make this need a reality, it is necessary for me to share this very intimate, and personal tragedy, but it clearly is necessary.

Thank you for letting me share my story.

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U.S Sailor Gang Raped

Anonymous, United States Navy

On 16 November 2011 I was sitting at the ER at the Dayton VA and this male Veteran approached me and asked me “to go out back and have sex with him”. I said “what”, he said “let’s go out back and fuck”. It brought back all my memories that I had hidden for so many years. I just got up and went back home and took an extra 2 diazepam. I was at the ER for my anxiety in the first place. It brought back so many memories of what happened to me when I was active duty and what happened to my children.

First, it was in June 5th 1982, I was 18, and at my first duty station in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. I lived in the Bundy Barracks and worked for the Navy Exchange, (I ran a mini store at the main barracks). One night a friend named Sara asked me to go to the Seabee Club with her so I went one Saturday night, I remember we were talking to a couple of guys who had bought us a couple of cokes, I believe my coke was drugged because the next thing I remember was being at the bus stop alone the next morning waiting for a bus to be taken back to the Bundy Barracks. I do not remember what happened to Sara. As I was sitting there waiting for the bus I was having vivid memories of different men having sex with me, I did not know who they were or that they even knew me. I do not remember faces; all I could see in my mind was that there were several men. I have no clue as to whom or where I even was the night before or even how I got there.

The vivid memories I now have are of different men’s penises in my mouth and in my vagina at different times throughout the night. I remember I was in such a daze in and out. My body was limp and I remember just lying there with no control over anything I did or was being done to me. I remember being dragged from one bed to another I was completely out of it. I remember being at work the next Monday and this guy came in and told me everything that had happened I did not realize that all that had happened. He told me that at least 25 different guys had sex with me.

I then went to the Naval Hospital and was told that if I was to report it that I would be put out of the Navy because it was destruction of government property and that it was my fault for being at the club. I also became pregnant and was diagnosed with Herpes. I was also transferred from the department to MWR, because I didn’t fit in to the NEX as what I was told.

Second around August of 1982 this one guy wanted to date me, and I was to have sex with him or he would get my friend in trouble (he was base police), I did not want it nor did I like it but I felt coerced into doing it. That had occurred a few times. I was transferred to the gym to work I remember one day I was walking to work (I did not have a car) and these guys drove by me and yelled out hey that is the chick we all fucked that one night, (my pregnancy was showing at this time).

Third time was between November and December 1982; the boss at the gym (***** *****) made me perform oral sex. I went to my Sr. Military Officer and he told me that it was my word against the civilians and no one would believe me, he told me that if I perused it I would lose my career and how would I support my child and myself without the military. So I did not fight for my rights yet again. I then remember I was stationed at Gt. Lakes Naval Hospital, where as I was the administration assistant to a Lt. who was the department head. He and I worked in the same small office. He made sexual advances toward me all the time. Told me I would have great evaluations and he could do a lot for me if I did certain sexually things. I kept telling him no. Because of all the above I have never been in a “real” relationship. I spent most of my time with my children watching movies, playing kids games and doing kid things.

In September 1989, I received orders to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and I had to leave my children behind until I received base housing. I worked with this Sr. Chief Corpsman for over a year he said he and his wife would take care of them. I paid them $1500.00, took over clothes and dropped my children and their clothes off with them. I came back 35 days later and picked up my kids to find them bruised and balled spots on their heads. Took them to a friend’s house (Dental Tech Chief), I put my kids in the bath and they had bruises all over them and cigar burns on their bottoms, I then took my kids to the Naval Hospital to get pictures taken and contacted NIS.

There were reports done, my girls ages 6 and 3 were both sexually abused and my 2 year old son was also. It took me 6 months to get my son to sleep on a bed and use a blanket and pillow. He would crawl in a corner and scream instead of going to sleep. November 1989 I started going to the Naval Hospital Mental Health Department and started medication for Depression and anxiety, due to the sexual, physical, emotional abuse my children suffered. My children were beat with a wooden spoon; my youngest two had bald spots all over their heads. My middle daughter was made to eat like a dog on the floor; she was also thrown down concrete stairs and hit a concrete wall at the bottom of the stairs with no medical attention and has caused brain damage. My middle daughter had gone through many tests when she was 4, for brain damage and she was place on ritalin at age 4, and diagnosed as Mental Retarded at age 9 and Borderline Personality Disorder at age 18. She has been so hard to deal with her behavior has been so out of control several times I have had to call the police but they told me since she is not being abused there is nothing that they can do. I did all that I could do that I had to give up guardianship a few years ago because I could not handle it any more. She is 27 and still requires 24/7/365 care.

Since I got out of the Navy, in 1992, I have been homeless 5 times and have moved 13 times because I don’t feel comfortable where I was living. I’ve had at least 16 jobs since I have been out of the Navy. I have not ever worked in the field of social work, which I have my degree in.

U.S Sailor raped by 3 Petty Officers, a Chief and a Lt.

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.

Navy attempts culture change on sexual assaults

“”They do say they want to change, but I feel a lot of it is lip service until we see a higher prosecution rate, until we see more rapists sent to prison for rape,” said Panayiota Bertzikis, executive director of the Military Rape Crisis Center. “The bottom line is a felony has been committed and they have to start treating it as a felony.”

read full article: ABC News

 

 

Command rape at US Navy A-school

Felicia, United States Navy

My story was a bit different than the others. I don’t call what happened to me rape because I voluntarily chose to sleep with him but I also felt that I had no other choice.

It started May 2006 at  A-school. I wasn’t doing that well academic-wise even though I was giving my all. For some reason with all the stress that comes along with A-school and a roomie from hell I had difficulties concentrating and doing well. An instructor in a class that I was doing quite badly  in asked if I needed any extra help. I knew that if I didn’t get the extra help that I would have flunked out so of course I said yes.

In exchange for the extra help I had to perform sexual favors. At first I said no and was going to report him. Within an hour I was called in and was being written up for disrespecting my instructor. He straight out lied and said that I cursed him out when he said that I was on the path on not graduating A-school. I tried to defend myself but with his 12 or so years of working there his words were believed over mine. After that whatever he wanted-sexually wise I did what I had to do. It was the only way to save my career.

Somehow with all of this I passed. I am still in the Navy. Which leads me to the problem of sexual harassment. Everyday on my ship I am being harassed by the men. They wanted me to do a train and I refused so they resorted to calling me a cum dumbster.

One 0-3  did sexting to her boyfriend who is also in the Navy and her photo has been circulated by every man on the ship from the Captain down to the non rate. Instead of punishing the men for circulating this photo she was severely reprimanded and put on probation. When she dumped the douchebag he told everyone that she was a slut that wanted it in all of these kinky positions.  She is being harassed as bad as I am.

Men in the Navy act like horny little boys going through puberty.  That must be because most are not getting any and believe it or not most 18 years old enlisting are virgin and their first sexual experience is with the prostitute in a foreign port town that speaks 3 words in English and is probably a victim of trafficking so she obviously not into it so their experience with girls is slim to none and sure act that way!

Major reform needs to be done from the top down.

Navy recruit RAPED

Anonymous, United States Navy

I was 21, in a bad situation, and the military looked to me to be the best solution … I went to the Navy recruiting office in Nashville Tennessee, and joined up for 6 years. While on DEP, I was invited by the head recruiter in the office to their fancy dress Christmas party.

The party was held at a large hotel, and there were lots of people in dress uniforms, I was dazzled – they looked great and I wanted to be just like them … After the party, I was a little buzzed, but ready for my ride home … THEN he tells me – “I have us a room in the hotel tonight – I don’t want to drive” I was uncomfortable, but figured he was my recruiter, right??

We went to the room, and within 10 minutes, he had me on the bed raping me. After it was done, I was told if I wanted to STAY in the military, I would keep my mouth shut … if I told anyone, I would lose my 6 year contract, and he would talk to all the other recruiters to ensure NO branch would take me. I was pretty much homeless and jobless at this time, so I did what he said … I brought it up to other women later in my career, and was told by at least 5 other women that the same thing had happened to them … it has been over 25 years, and I still think about it on a regular basis.

Raped At Naval Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois

Anonymous, United States Navy

I left for Navy boot camp when I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school, on August 12, 2002. I was my happiest and had more self esteem than I ever had my entire life when I graduated from boot camp. For the first time in my life I actually felt like I had made my father proud and my father and I grew closer from this experience. Then about a month after I graduated from boot camp is when my life hit rock bottom again.

Here is my story:

Right before Thanksgiving in 2002 (November 22, 2002), I went to a hotel party with two of my shipmates that I considered friends from boot camp (one a male and the other a female). The two friends I went with were in a dating relationship.

I had only been out of boot camp for about a month. I was at IT “A” School in Great Lakes, Illinois. The majority of the people at the hotel party attended IT “A” School where I attended. I didn’t know most of the people because I attended the evening classes at IT “A” School that went from 1630 to 0100. Most of the people attended the day classes from 0730 to 1600. The people I went to the hotel party with ditched me.

I’m not sure who threw the party or rented the hotel rooms but about 8 rooms were rented for the night and party. I hadn’t had a single alcoholic drink all night. I drank water. I even took care of a guy who was so drunk that he was throwing up for about an hour then he passed out. I talked to multiple people in the room for several hours. I stayed in the same room all night in hopes my “friends” would come back for me and it would be easier for them to find me when we were ready to go.

I had talked to this one guy for several hours. Him and I started making out. We made out for about an hour or so. People kept coming and going from the room until about 2AM. Once it was just my rapist, the passed out drunk guy and I left in the room and the guy I was making out with noticed it was just us in the room, he started touching me between the legs with my pants on while making out with me. I pushed him away from me enough to tell him not to touch me on the vagina.

What happened after this is very cloudy to me because I can’t differentiate between what happened to me when I was raped and when I was molested when I was younger. I will explain more of this later in this writing. What I do know is that I was pushing him and squirming to get free but he was too strong and I was too weak to break free. As he penetrated my vagina with his penis I blacked out and had flashbacks of what happened when I was molested by my great uncle from when I was 4 years old until I was 6 years old. When I came back to reality, the guy was walking out of the room. I put my panties and pants back on. As I was walking out of the bedroom, I saw a used condom on the floor.

I went to one of the other hotel rooms because I was looking for my “friends” but they weren’t there and I couldn’t get ahold of them by phone. I had no clue how to get back to base since I was new to the command and fresh out of boot camp. I stayed in the room because there was all females in the room and one guy. I tried to act like myself. I fell asleep in one of the two beds in the hotel room since I was exhausted and just wanted the night to be over.

I woke up with two other people in the bed (the guy and a girl). The guy was in the middle. I woke up with the guy laying on his side facing me and caressing my boob and trying to touch my vagina. I knew he was drunk so I didn’t flip out. Instead I rolled onto the floor purposely but made it look like I didn’t do it on accident. At this point I was so exhausted I just wanted to sleep so I went back to sleep.

In the morning, I was one of the first ones awake so I called one of my close guy friends who friend/roommate had a car. I begged him to come pick me up. The whole ride back to base I was quiet. Once I got back to base I went straight to my barrack’s room and laid in my rack and cried. My guy friend who came to pick me up knew something was wrong and kept calling me on the phone and asking me what was wrong and I kept telling him, “Nothing. I just want to be left alone.” He tried getting me to go to the movies with him but I didn’t want to leave the barracks.  Since I wasn’t acting myself, he sent my friend, *****, to my room to check on me. She kept questioning why I was being so distant from ***** (the guy who picked me up from the hotel). I just told her I was tired and wanted to be alone.

So on Monday morning, November 25, 2002, before PT, I talked to my best friend, ***** ****** from back home and told her what happened on Friday night. We cried together on the phone. She said she felt helpless since she was half a country away and that I need to tell someone so after I got off the phone with her I told ***** about it, ***** flipped out and said I should tell *****. At PT that day, Monday, I told ***** what happened but wouldn’t tell him who it was. He was pissed. That evening, I went to class at 1630. On my dinner break I called ***** again and talked to her more about it and cried some more. When I went back to the schoolhouse my eyes were puffy and red. As we were awaiting the arrival of our instructor, IT1 *******, I started crying uncontrollably. My class leader, Petty Officer *****, took me outside to talk about why I was so upset. All I told him was, “Don’t worry it will all be over on Wednesday.” He asked me what I meant by that but I wouldn’t discuss it. Once IT1 ******* arrived, Petty Officer ***** pulled IT1 ******* and I outside and told IT1 ******* what I had said and IT1 ******* then looked at me and asked me what I meant by that statement. I told him not to worry about it. He told me if I didn’t tell him what I meant then they will take me to the hospital to be evaluated because he would take it that I was suicidal so I told him what happened. What I meant by it will all be over Wednesday is the guys were due to transfer to a new duty station in 2 days and I wouldn’t ever have to see them again.

The MA’s (Master-At-Arms) were called and I told them what happened, they took a report, and they assigned a sexual assault advocate to me. The next day, November 26, 2002, I was called to go down to NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Services) to give them a sworn statement in which I gave them my statement to the best of my knowledge in the emotional state that I was in. I was never told that I could have someone present with me while I made my statement. I saw my counselor, ******* *****, at the Fleet and Family Support Center and told her what had happened. I had been seeing this counselor ever since I got out of boot camp. Not sure of the date but I was called into NCIS for a second time and they took a second sworn statement under duress.

I was referred to a psychiatrist at the Naval Hospital by my command and forced to go see her on December 18th, 2002. I was sent there to be assessed for risk of harm. At that time, I was assessed to be low risk. She explained to me that people don’t generally see a counselor and a psychiatrist because they pretty much do the same thing so I chose to continue seeing my counselor, ******* *****, since I was already established with ******* and felt comfortable talking to her. The guy who raped me and the guy who sexually assaulted me both were released of charges around January 2003, I believe.

On March 5, 2003 ( a week before my graduation from “A” school), I arrived at my schoolhouse for class and my instructor told me that I wouldn’t be attending class that night and that I would need to report to the legal building the next morning. Even though I questioned why he couldn’t give me any information.

On March 6, 2003, I appeared at the legal building and was advised that I was being charged with falsifying official documents and statements (Article 107 of the UCMJ). They wouldn’t give me any more information that that except that I needed to report back to my schoolhouse for placement. The only document I received from legal was a copy of the charge sheet. I went back to my schoolhouse was told that I wouldn’t be graduating from “A” school with my class and depending on the outcome of my case would determine if I would receive my certificate of completion. I was directed to report to the Holds Petty Officer, CTR1 *****, so I did. I caught my instructor in the hall and spoke to him briefly since he knew my situation and since he was one of the sexual assault advocates on base. I explained to him what was going on and told him that I didn’t know where to turn to and that I hadn’t heard from not got any guidance from my sexual assault advocate. He recommended I contact JAG to get some sort of legal representation. At this rate, within days, my emotional and physical health deteriorated and I became extremely suicidal.

Every time I left my barracks room, I was called a slut, a whore, a cunt, a tramp and various other names by guys that were friends with my rapist since they all lived in the barracks next to me. It wasn’t until later on that I found out that a ton of people claimed that they were there and that it was consensual. I spoke to *****, the guy friend who picked me up from the hotel the morning after it happened, on the phone. It was then that he advised me that those people came forward and said that they were there because the two guys were well known on base and the two guys were knocking on tons of people’s doors in their barracks telling guys to vouch for them and say they were there when it all happened. How can they be witnesses if they weren’t there and there was only three people in the room when it happened including my rapist and I? I went back to the psychiatrist because I needed help.

At this point, I had no self worth, didn’t trust the Navy as a whole, had no respect for the Navy, and felt very betrayed. I knew there was no way I could be stationed on a ship with a bunch of men and be okay emotionally. They put me on medicine (Celexa) but they did the opposite for me. I discontinued the medicine at the advice of my doctor and refused to try any other anti-depressants because I felt like a lab rat and didn’t feel comfortable trying different kinds until I found one that worked. At one point, I told the psychiatrist that I was sexually active and that I knew what I was doing was wrong and felt dirty for doing it but that I couldn’t control myself. She explained becoming sexually active is completely common for someone in my shoes because it’s easier to give in then possibly be put through a rape again. I signed release forms for my JAG Officer, my psychiatrist and my counselor to share information with each other. My JAG Officer also requested my records from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office from when I was molested from when I was 4 years old to when I was 6 years old and when my great uncle was charged with such charges and incarcerated in State Prison from such conviction.

My sworn statements to NCIS were a little different since when I gave my statements in detail I couldn’t determine nor differentiate between when I was raped and when I was molested. I do know I yelled NO several times. Even to this day, I can’t tell which event happened during the rape and which happened during the molestation. I can see what is happening to me but I can’t tell how old I am nor can I see a face on the perpetrator. My JAG Officer told me that even with my records from the molestation and with the emotional state I was in when I gave my sworn statements, they wouldn’t help my case even though I begged to differ. Also, my JAG Officer told me that my current sexual activity would be brought into play and it would definitely appear that it was consensual. He said cases like this never have a good outcome and people never win and are never found innocent. At this point, I had no fight left in me and it appeared that odds were against me according to my JAG Officer so I took the plea bargain that my JAG Officer pushed me to take.

At my court martial, the Navy Officer who acted as the Judge for my case, told me that he believed that it truly happened to me but that he had to sentence me since I plead guilty. He said this after the court went off the record so this was no recorded nor reflected on the court martial paperwork. My mom, my grandparents, my instructor from IT “A” school and the chief from my schoolhouse were there but they wouldn’t allow them into the courtroom. I was sentenced to thirty days restriction, no jail time, no extra duty, forfeiture of 2/3 of my pay for one month, and reduction from E-2 (Seaman Apprentice) to E-1 (Seaman Recruit).

My mom asked my JAG Officer after the court martial why they did this to me and his response was, “The Navy needs these guys more than they need your daughter. “ My command and legal let me have 48 hours of liberty with my family and I didn’t even have to come back to base at any time during that 48 hours.

When I came back from the 48 hour liberty, I checked in at legal and come to find out they counted the 48 hours of liberty as my first two days of restriction. At the restriction musters they had me signing all the restricted people’s walking chits and had me take roll call at the restriction musters. Normally on restriction you don’t get off restriction until the last muster of the day on the final day of restriction. Well, on my last day they let me off the first muster of the day and let me go home on leave for two weeks that day.

I definitely no longer felt safe in the Navy nor did I trust the Navy anymore. My psychiatrist put in for Admin Separation due to the PTSD and Major Depression.

Also, around February, I was hanging out with two of my female shipmates and two guy shipmates. The guy shipmates went to pick up food for all of us after we had called in our order for Chinese food. When they got back, the guys handed each of us our food. When I took a bite, my food tasted a little weird but I was so hungry that I ate it anyways. The next morning I woke up and went to brush my teeth, I noticed my tongue was white. I went to medical right away and come to find out the guys had peed in my food and my food only. I found out that they did this because one of them was friends with my rapist and they thought it was funny. Nothing ever happened to those guys for peeing in my food.

The VA, Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst, and myself have all asked for copies of my medical record and neither the Archives nor Great Lakes Navy base acknowledge that they have my medical records. Both state they don’t have it. I was not discharged due to the court martial but in the remarks section of my DD-214 the Navy mentioned the court martial. It wasn’t until I went to the VA that I found out it was on my DD-214. I recently found out that had I stayed in the Navy and continued with my deteriorating mental issues but served my four years in the Navy, the Navy would have given me an Honorable Discharge instead of a General-Under Honorable Conditions and my DD-214 wouldn’t have reflected anything about the court martial.

It is only because of my mental state that I was discharged not because of behavioral reasons so I feel that I was wronged more than once by the Navy. My DD-214 also reflects that I was an E-2 instead of an E-1 when I was discharged which proves that the demotion that the Navy gave me in the court martial was not reflected in my service record. I never received a certificate of completion from IT “A” school but my DD-214 reflects that I completed the course and I was given credit for such.

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!