Nicole’s Story

Nicole’s Story

I joined the Army in 2008 as a prior enlisted Soldier. In April of 2009, less than a month after I had arrived to my unit, I was raped by my neighbor’s husband, an SSG.

My neighbor had invited me to a “girl’s night out” and I accepted. However, when I opened the door to what I thought would be my neighbor, it was her husband. He said that the “girl’s night” was still on but that his wife had gone to see her mother for family reasons but he would go with me to make sure I would be okay. At the end of the night, when we were dropped off at our residence by one of his soldiers, he followed me into my house, refused to leave, and raped me.

I reported the incident as restricted (so my command would not know about it). The day after though, I was compelled to do the “right” thing and make it unrestricted. This way, the rape could be investigated and the SSG could never do this to another soldier again.

The ensuing process was as degrading as the rape itself. During the actual rape kit process on my body, while I was naked and having evidence collected, my First Sergeant was grilling me for details on my cell phone. My supervisor also gossiped about the rape to other soldiers in my unit.

Additionally, I was supposed to receive new housing and had been on the waiting list, but after reporting the assault I was moved into temporary housing and my place on the waiting list was suspended until corroboration of my story occurred.

The defense attorney found one of my supervisors during their kids’ soccer practice and they discussed my case on the spot. I was told to speak to the defense attorney without legal counsel. The email correspondence concerning my case was placed into my counseling packet to be reviewed by my chain of command during promotion boards.

My rapist was never punished even though CID investigated and recommended charges of rape and forcible sodomy. Nothing ever happened to him under his own chain of command. His chain of command down-range did, however, charge him with adultery. Then the defense attorney in Garrison engaged my chain of command in trying to give me a charge of adultery as well.

Here is the saddest fact about how the military treats women: the only thing unusual about my story is that I even reported it at all.