Protect Our Defenders News Blog


Congressional Trauma: Gillibrand Continues Intrepid Campaign Vs. Sexual Assault in Military

The New York Daily News reports:

Obviously, there are different reasons to explain each and every suicide but, somewhere in the mix, is the impact of sexual assault and the woeful way the Pentagon tends to handle victims.

“Heath Phillips, a constituent of mine, shared his experience with me recently,” Gillibrand said. “Heath grew up in a family that was devoted to the military. He joined the Navy shortly after he turned 17 and was excited to be part of the Navy family. When he reported to his duty station after boot camp, there was no one there to register him so they told him he’d have to come back.”

“He met a couple of other sailors from the ship and went into New York City with them. They went out drinking and he blacked out, and when he came to, the other sailors were sexually assaulting him. They threatened him and told him no one would believe him. He went back to the ship, where he reported the assault, only to be told that it was his fault because he had been drinking and that he was lucky to not be in trouble for underage drinking.”

Read more here.