My ex-husband was enlisted before I was. He was incredibly abusive and 2 weeks before I left for basic training he was having a particularly aggressive day. He was angry at me for something I didn’t understand. He had been throwing things and when I left the room to go to our bedroom, he followed me. He held me down by my head and back and raped me while I screamed for him to stop. I left for basic training 2 weeks later and 2 weeks after I graduated a 5 month OSUT, I was informed that I was six months pregnant. I was terrified and couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what had happened. We hadn’t had any consensual sex for over a month before I left so I knew when my child was conceived. I forced myself to stay married to him for another two years before I was strong enough to leave him. The only thing that finally pushed me over that edge was when he abused my child. The child abuse case, though there was photo evidence, hospital visits, family advocacy involvement, and witnesses that could prove WHEN the injury occurred, the case was never turned over to the police. He was never held responsible for injuring my child. I waited another two years to report my assault to anyone. I reported him in 2018 and though I had my child as evidence law enforcement officials said there was nothing they could do. Even though there is no statute of limitations on rape they refused to even open a case against him.
After my ex-husband raped me, his chain of command found out and even watched him abuse me on multiple occasions. He was never reported and when I started seeking counseling to deal with the ordeal both mine and his chain of command began harassing me about the incident. They called me a liar and said that they knew him better than that and that he would never do that sort of thing. Four years later, I reported him to CID and they told me they wouldn’t even pursue it because of how long it had been. Even with my child being the product of the rape they stated that it wasn’t worth pursuing. Every military counselor I have seen has tried to convince me I was lying or tried to tell me how maybe I misinterpreted the situation.
In 2015 I had gone out with a group of people from my platoon who were all celebrating a four day weekend after a field cycle. We were stationed in Kansas and were out in one of the bar districts. I had stayed sober because I was underage and after all the bars shut down I was gathering everyone up who was drunk to make sure that they all got back to their barracks safely. While I was discussing something with one of my friends, my team leader approached me and told the friend with him that he would be “going home with this little beauty.” He then wrapped his arms around me. I pushed myself away from him and he gave me a look like I had hurt his feelings. He then tried again to lean on me. I told him to get off of me and I began to walk away. Before I knew what was happening he was screaming at me, “I’m your team leader. I’m just trying to make sure you get taken care of. I don’t know why you’re being like this.” He attempted to grab me again and I told him that if he touched me again I would stab him.
He then grabbed me by my waist and shoved his hands down the back of my shorts. At this point I blacked out and I don’t remember what eventually got him off of me. I remember when I finally came back, I grabbed my friends that would be riding with me and literally ran to my car. Many people had warned me about this individual and I had made known that I did not want to fall under him anymore as he had already been harassing me through Facebook messenger and would sit outside my house. Had I known he was going to be there that night I would not have gone. I had told my squad leader many times that I was uncomfortable with my team leader and explained why and his exact words to me were, “You will go through him. If you come directly to me or any other NCO directly again, I will Article 15 you and push for chapter.”
When I got my friends back to their barracks I sat outside with another friend of mine and smoked. He had heard about what had happened and was making sure I was okay and wanted to talk to someone about it. I told him I wasn’t sure and he understood. The CQ NCO came out about 10 minutes later and told me that we needed to talk. He told me that someone else (another one of my friends) had told him what happened and he recommended that I tell law enforcement since he was going to have to report it up. I trusted this NCO and did as he suggested. The next Monday I went to the MPs on post which was difficult since I was an MP as well. I explained the situation to them and they told me that since it had happened off post I needed to report it in the town that it had happened in. I did so and they opened an investigation. During the course of this investigation law enforcement questioned my mental stability since my abuser had stated that I was mentally unstable and tried to use my personal life as an excuse for what he had done. I was only informed of one court date and this individual pushed the date more than three times. I waited a few months and went to the courthouse to ask what was going on and they told me that the case had been closed. My abuser was given a diversion meaning he had to take classes and then if he didn’t get in trouble again for a certain amount of years it would be like it never happened. Apparently in the state of Kansas what he did to me was not considered sexual assault. It was considered a sexual battery and it was a misdemeanor. The individual was also given an honorable discharge and recommendations for a job outside the military. I was shunned and moved to a different unit where I was then punished for reporting another MP.
The entire ordeal could have been prevented if my leadership would have listened to me when I asked to change teams and platoons. I even provided proof by showing them the constant harassment the individual had sent me via messenger. Instead of being taken care of I was ostracized and moved to a different unit where I was subsequently given an article 15 for “snitching on my brother in arms”. The individual had to sit at a discharge board where he was subsequently given an honorable discharge and recommendation letters for jobs outside of the military, including law enforcement.
In December of 2016 I was raped in my home by a long time family friend. I reported it the next day but because of what had happened the last time, I reported to someone and decided to keep it restricted so I could simply get the medical care I needed.
While I was at the hospital my NCO called me to ask me where I was. I informed him that I was at the hospital and he then said to me, “They told us there was a restricted sexual assault report. It was you wasn’t it?” He was angry. I told him no and that I was being seen for personal reasons. The hospital put me on quarters and within four hours of being released my entire command team showed up at my house for a “health and welfare” inspection. They questioned me repeatedly about whether or not I had made the report and when I refused to admit it was me they started to threaten me with counseling statements, article 15s and eventually with having me locked in the in-patient behavioral health ward in the local hospital. I still refused to tell them and they eventually left. Once I got back to work someone had told my entire office that I had been raped and that I was a liar. I was not allowed to go anywhere or do anything without having someone over my shoulder. The only person in my office that I was friends with texted me from right behind me to tell me they had been told to report everything I did so that if I messed up even a little they would have a reason to punish me. This went on for almost six months before I was finally able to get out of the situation.
I was verbally abused by not only my direct supervisor but also my 1SG and commander and they tried to bully me into telling them what had happened and accused me of lying since I filed a restricted report. Their words were, “someone who is really sexually assaulted would never file a restricted report. You probably had sex with him and then regretted it so you wanted to try to ruin his life.” I had filed a RESTRICTED report. The individual, still to this day, has no idea the report was even filed. I was refused time to go to counseling. I missed multiple appointments with behavioral health because they would not let me leave without threatening me with non-judicial punishment or separation from the military. I was constantly watched at work because they wanted to separate me for being ‘a liar and attention seeker.’ I was at the point of wanting to end my life because of them. The only reason I am still here today is because of my child. Without him, the military would 100% have caused me to kill myself.