Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors

Over the past several years, in response to public pressure, the US military has made a concerted effort to improve how it handles sexual assault cases. Many of the reforms have provided important additional resources and protections for service members who are sexually assaulted while in service. Other policy changes have made it more difficult to quickly dismiss service members for mental health conditions.

However, virtually nothing has been done to address the ongoing harm done to thousands of veterans who reported sexual assault before reforms took place and lost their military careers as a result of improper administrative discharges.

“Personality Disorder” discharges—a term used to describe a mental health condition that can disqualify someone from military service—were once “the fastest and easiest way to get rid of someone” in the military.[3] The use of personality disorder discharges declined dramatically in 2010 after government studies had revealed proper procedures were often not followed. Nonetheless, these, and other types of questionable mental health discharges are still in use, and they comprise part of the discharges examined in this report because of the continuing harm suffered by veterans who received these discharges and have no recourse to correct their records.

Read the full report from the Human Rights Watch here.

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Raped while on deployment in Guantanamo Bay.

I’ve only been in the army less than a year at the time, when my company was set to deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I was so excited to be going on my first deployment. It was July, and we had been there a month, and I had decided to volunteer at a local thrift store. I met a Spc there who hit on me, but I just shook it off. He invited me to join him for lunch (not very many places to eat). So I said sure he then proceeded to say he forgot his wallet and had to go retrieve it. We walked back to his room, and he invited me inside I was hesitant, but he kept saying it was only for a second. I entered his room, and the only place to sit was his bed, so I stood. He kept telling me to relax and saying that I could sit on his bed if I wanted to and to not be so tense. When he came back from the bathroom he asked me if I want to watch a movie, I said no and wanted to get lunch. He then proceeded to grab the shoulder and push me On to his bed and then asked if I wanted to have sex with him. I said no and then be said: “if u won’t then I’ll make you.” I tried to leave, and he grabbed my arm and the. Put his hand around my throat and squeezed until I was almost unconscious. He pushed me on the bed and somehow managed to get my clothes off. I kept telling him, no but he didn’t care he seemed to take pleasure in my resistance. He then grabbed my hair and yanked it told me to open my mouth I saw that he had his manhood there in front of my face. He then used one hand to push open my mouth and stick his junk in my mouth. “You bite me, and this will be a whole lot worse” after he was somewhat satisfied with that he yanked me back words and held my hand over my head and held me down. His hand traveled down my body, and he felt me, and he said he knew I wanted this even though I said no my body was saying yes. I felt as though my body had failed me. I didn’t want this, and yet my body was reacting to it and not in the way I wanted. He then was inside of me, and I just started begging for him to stop and that it hurt and didn’t want this. He laughed and kept going until he came. He then bent down in my ear and said: ” Don’t lie was the best u ever had and kept saying I wanted it.” He went to the bathroom, and that’s when I made my escape, I wanted to tell someone, but my Sharp didn’t seem to want to listen, so I never told anyone. I saw him 5 months later he smirked at me and grabbed my hand and told me he missed me in his bed. I never saw him again after that, but now I have nightmares.