Joanne’s Story

Joanne’s Story

***Trigger Warning***

I was assigned to SGS Transportation in Heidelberg, Germany as a driver. This particular time I was assigned to pick up a 2 Star General from Frankfort and take him and his luggage to Nuremberg. It seemed like any other mission until we were on the Autobahn. This Army General started asking questions about my name, where I was from and such. As we were talking he unbuckled his lap belt and moved to the seat right behind me. He started telling me all the things he’d like to do sexually to me and with me while he was “in town”. The things he suggested made my skin crawl! He was talking as if I’d been assigned to him, like a call girl. He kept caressing my shoulders and was trying to touch my breasts. I was driving and still several hours from Nuremberg. I did what I could to shrug him off but he would not stop touching me. Each time saying “Don’t get upset, I’m just trying to relax your tension.I want us to get along while we’re together,”. I wanted to scream but the only thing I could do was drive faster. When we got to the Hotel in Nuremberg I dropped him at the door and went to park the van. When I got into the hotel to receive the key to my shared room for the night, he was waiting for me with a drink in his hand. He tried to hand me one, but I refused. He then became upset, like I was being rude. I apologized but told him I had to use the restroom and headed for the elevator as quick as I could. Unfortunately, he was right on my heels. I was trapped in the elevator with him. He was grabbing my ass and trying to kiss me. It felt like his hands were everywhere at once. He didn’t seem to understand what “Please Stop” meant. He said he was going to make dinner arrangements for us and that he’d pick me up at my room. When the elevator came to a stop, he followed me off of the elevator, so I pretended my room was the opposite direction as his and hurried around the corner, found the stairs and went to my real room. I didn’t think he followed me but about a half hour later, he knocked on my door. How did he know what room I was in I will never know but thank God for my Supervisor, . She was sharing a room with me because we are both female. When he arrived at our door she told him I had already left. For the remainder of that TDY mission, she helped me avoid him. When we returned to Heidelberg, my Supervisor tried to help me get this guy but he only received an Article 15 with 1 loss in rank and a pay cut.

Another time, I was walking home from the enlisted club and saw whom I thought was my boyfriend following me. I stopped in the gazebo not too far from my barracks to wait for him. When he got closer I realized my mistake, told him I was sorry I thought he was someone else, and turned to leave As I did, he shoved my head into a beam of the gazebo, making me see stars. He then ripped my shirt, tore my bra off, pulled my pants down, had me bent over the side of the Gazebo and was getting himself ready, when 2 men came out of the club. 1 man looked my way and felt like something was off so he hollered to see if I was ok. When I didn’t respond, him and the other guy started jogging my way. I don’t know for sure if he penetrated me or not. I tell myself he didn’t but I was in shock and still to this day am uncertain what all happened while I was knocked out, but when the 2 men got to me, I was lying on the ground and my assailant was gone. 1 man called the MP’s and the other helped me get covered back up as best I could. The MP’s arrived a few minutes later. When I gave them my statement, they asked if I could give them a description of the man who attacked me. Apparently my attacker fits the profile of 3/4 of the men in the Army according to these MP’s. No one ever contacted me for any follow ups after that night.

Another time, I was on a 1st date with a fellow soldier. We had decided to hang out in his barracks common room and get to know each other. After a few minutes, he asked me if I would like a soda, I asked him what kind he had, he calmly stated, “I’m not sure, let’s go to my room to see,”. I followed him into his room making sure I left the door open behind me. He opened his mini fridge and said grab what I wanted, as I was bending down, he slammed the door shut, locked it, then pushed me to the floor. I fought him, and was able to get back up to my feet, he was pulling my pants down, and finally I was able to scream. The CQ was at the door almost immediately, knocking for it to be opened. When the guy opened the door, he told the CQ that it was all a big misunderstanding. I was overreacting. The CQ then asked me to leave his barracks, like I had done something wrong.

Another time, I was at PLDC in Grafenwoehr, Germany. I was assigned to a room with only one roommate. It was late at night and we were both asleep when I felt someone touching the inside of my leg. I woke up startled, to see a PLDC Drill Instructor sitting on the edge of my bed feeling me up. He was drunk and calling me someone else’s name and asking me if he could climb in bed with me “to cuddle”. My roommate woke up and said she didn’t want any men in the room, rolled over and instantly fell back asleep. This made him jump back a little on my bed giving me room to swing my legs away from his hands. As I did this, I quickly told him, if you let me go to the bathroom, I’ll come back and we can cuddle. I walked out of the room like nothing was wrong, shut the door then ran to the CQ. I told him what happened and we started back towards my room. As we did, we saw that DI leave my room, run to the end of the hall, and jump out the window, and kept running. I did however get a good look at him so I was able to identify his photo, but again, nothing ever came of it.

Last one. The 1st time I was raped, it was by a family friend, in my childhood home, in my childhood bedroom. I was 16. He was 27. It was swept under the rug “for my benefit”. I know this one isn’t military related but I think it may be why I got saved from other assaults.