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It's been difficult for me to express how I've been feeling this past week, until I read this diary which began:

I am a slut.

Before this week, I didn't know I was a slut. But Rush Limbaugh set me straight:

I'm a slut, too. But I've known this for decades. I knew it since I first enlisted in the Active Duty Air Force in 1984, and I was never allowed to forget it.

I'm also a whore, hysterical, and completely incapable of working on communications equipment.

I shouldn't have even been in the military.

Because I'm a woman.

I read the words written by Kaili Joy Gray and I understood. I felt the pain. And yet another part of me celebrated. I wanted to say, welcome to the world of the Military Woman, because now, I have hope that what women in the military have been experiencing for so long will finally receive the attention it deserves, and together, civilians and military personnel can work together to set right the horrible wrongs being perpetrated on our women in the military, as well as our women veterans.

The Issue: The Republican War on Women has now severely pissed off the Civilian Sector, and rightly so! It's about time the Republicans did something so supremely stupid that the majority of our country is now galvanized behind the Rights of Women!

But a serious problem remains!

The Problem:

It's huge. It's vast. And it's been hidden for a very long time. Decades, in fact. Those who refuse to believe in conspiracies should believe in this one. The DOD doesn't want you to know.

SWAN, Service Women's Action Network is still having difficulty gaining documents under the Freedom of Information Act from the DOD which reflect complete statistics regarding their response to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence in the military.

From "Exposing the Ugly Details of the Military Sexual Violence Epidemic" it's the government's view:

...the public needn’t concern itself with the ugly details of the epidemic of sexual violence in the military. After all, it duly releases annual statistics on the prevalence of sexual assault within each branch, encapsulating in a tidy number how many thousands of episodes have been reported and what percentage of those cases result in courts-martial, nonjudicial punishment, and other corrective measures.
Further:
Without allowing the public to take account of the role that variables like race, gender, rank, and unit play in the disposition of the individual cases behind the statistics, the military can only enlighten the public as to what the problem is, not why it continues to flourish.
The information the government does make available to the public simply does not zero in on what we need to know. For example, despite a federal law that requires the government to track what action is taken by command on each domestic violence incident and the number of incidents that command determined should not lead to disciplinary action, the DoD still does not systematically collect and share this information.

Moreover, the government’s reports on sexual assault completely fail to take account of sexual harassment, which is even more prevalent than assault among military personnel. In fact, in one recent VA study, 90 percent of respondents reported sexual harassment while in the military. VA research also reveals sexual harassment while in military service to be as strong a predictor of PTSD among women veterans as in-service sexual assault; this correlation mirrors the strong link between combat exposure and PTSD among male veterans. Moreover, Defense Manpower Data Center surveys have found an alarmingly high correlation between incidents of assault and prior incidents of harassment.

If you could, please read that last paragraph again. Soak it in. Now, think of Rush Limbaugh and the fact that even military members are calling for his removal from what we used to call, Armed Forces Radio Network! Rush sexually harasses a civilian woman and all hell breaks loose. However, military women are sexually harassed, and severely, on a daily basis, and we do nothing to assist them. The DOD won't even release the statistics.

Is this okay in your opinion? Just curious. There's more:

There is the issue of Question 21 on security clearance forms. As SWAN points out in their February 29, 2012 press release, the question covers psychological and emotional health, and asks anyone applying for or renewing a security clearance to provide specific details on any therapy for a mental or emotional health condition in the previous seven years. Exemptions include counseling related to combat, marital or family issues, or grief counseling that does not involve any violence by the applicant.

Senator Jon Tester is also pushing for Question 21 to be changed because counselling for rape, sexual assault, and extreme sexual harassment is NOT exempt. This shows clear bias against women (although men are subjected to sexual abuse in the military at increasingly high numbers.)

The DOD stated they would change the wording on the question but has yet to do so, or provide clear guidance on how to answer this question in the interim.

It is 2012 and sexual discrimination is alive and well in our Armed Forces.

And there's more:

I suppose most people believe the military has an effective way of dealing with rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. But it doesn't. A huge problem is that when someone like me is raped (and I was; 4 times, and sexually assaulted once in the presence of Security Police during a "sting" operation), we can't simply trot off base and contact the nearest police station. We must stay within our Chain of Command and/or report what happened to our Security personnel.

Here's the problem with our Chain of Command...

Part of the military’s intransigence on meaningful change lies in its insistence that it already has the tools to effectively prosecute offenders and administer justice to survivors. And yet, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) has been the Pentagon’s primary answer to stopping sexual assault in the ranks. To be clear, SAPRO has no law enforcement authority. It has no authority to prosecute or punish. Its messaging is questionable, as it is rife with rape mythology and victim-blaming, including the infamous poster that says, “Ask Her When She’s Sober.” In other words, SAPRO cannot administer justice to anyone. Moreover, the SAPRO Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database, a centralized database for the collection of information regarding sexual assaults, required by law in 2009, has yet to appear. Military and Congressional leaders need to stop expecting solutions from SAPRO, and start working together to ensure victims get access to real justice. - National Press Club Statement by Anu Bhagwati Executive Director, Service Women’s Action Network, March 6, 2012
And keep in mind, many of the laws discussed within this post which enacted things like SAPRO, Restricted, and Unrestricted Reporting didn't occur until after the years 2001 through 2003 and later. Rape and Sexual Assault in the military has been occurring at epidemic proportions with no way to report without reprisals for decades; since before I enlisted in the 1980's.

What is worse is that Commanders are the judge and jury in these cases. The very Commander within the Chain of Command of the individual who has been raped, as well, in the vast majority of cases, the rapist.

What do you think is going to happen? There is great pressure not to report. And if one does report, reprisals can be extreme. In many cases, the individual who reported is re-victimized by the system, harassed, and may eventually be kicked out, branded with a "personality disorder" rather than PTSD (which is usually what one has after being raped) so that they cannot even claim benefits from the Veteran's Administration.

She disputed the diagnosis, but it was not until months later that she found what seemed powerful ammunition buried in her medical file, portions of which she provided to The New York Times. “Her command specifically asks for a diagnosis of a personality disorder,” a document signed by the psychiatrist said.

Veterans’ advocates say Captain Carlson stumbled upon evidence of something they had long suspected but had struggled to prove: that military commanders pressure clinicians to issue unwarranted psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of troops.

In addition, the reports of those who do report the crimes perpetrated against them are not always saved so that they can file for benefits later. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.,discusses a new bill, which would help make it easier and safer for soldiers to file reports of sexual assault, preserving those reports, making filing for claims easier.

Again, more information of which many are unaware, is that the laws for PTSD claims were recently eased for those seeking benefits for PTSD due to combat. However, for those seeking benefits for PTSD due to MST, the hurdles to prove those claims remain incredibly high. The hoops one has to jump through are simply enormous. Even if one has all proof outlined in the Veteran's Administration's manual covering these claims, M21-1MR, these claims are routinely denied, repeatedly.

In my case, I had to obtain a lawyer. When my attorney saw my claim file, he was a bit shocked. I was told I had an open a shut case. I simply shrugged and told him I was aware of that, but the VA didn't care and neither did either of my two prior Veteran Service Officers. My attorney finally won my claim. And that's the saddest part of all... the fact that many who really need the benefits others are so easily able to obtain are repeatedly denied them, even with ample proof.

But, there's more:

On March 6, 2012, much activity ensued pushing the issue of Military Sexual Trauma a bit further into the limelight; in part due to Rush Limbaugh's comments, I'm sure, but mostly due to the nation-wide screenings and impending release of the ground breaking documentary film "The Invisible War". In addition, a second lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight service members by SWAN, two of those service members appeared in the documentary.

Panetta, Gates, Rumsfeld Face New Suit Over U.S. Military Rape ‘Epidemic’ - The Daily Beast

CNN Interview

8 current, former service members to sue military, alleging rape, sexual assault and harassment - Fox News

Stars and Stripes

MSNBC with video

And most importantly, on March 6, 2012, a press conference was held regarding the Military Sexual Assault Litigation in Washington D.C. and shown on CSpan. The list of speakers includes:

Bhagwati, Anu
Executive Director
Service Women's Action Network

Burke, Susan
Attorney

Hallman, Linda
Executive Director
American Association of University Women

Helmer, Elle
Plantiff

Parrish, Nancy
President
Protect Our Defenders

Smeal, Eleanor
Chair
Feminist Majority->Political Action Committee

Wright, Ann
Official (Former)
Department of State

The Headquarters of the Marine Corps released this statement, apparently in an attempt to create some damage control. Two of the women who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and who were also profiled in "The Invisible War" were stationed at the Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C.

However, any MST Survivor knows this is too little too late.

For my own story, as a communications maintenance specialist, I was selected as one of the "elite" to be interviewed for White House Comm (what is known as White House Communications Command). This was around 1992, about 4 years after the worst was over for me. However, by that time I had entered therapy with a private therapist. I had a clearance and didn't want to lose it. As a result, I was pulled aside and asked if my "sexual assaults" would affect my job.

I laughed, because by that time, I was also running a Priority 1, 24/7, Maintenance Control Facility in our Logistics center. It wasn't affecting my job there. They knew it; I knew it. But I'm not dumb. They knew that, too.

White House Comm sets up and maintains communications for the President. When assigned there, for four years, you don't wear a uniform. You wear civilian clothes.

And only the top 1% make it there. It is most definitely a male dominated environment in the middle of a politically charged environment; and I would be one of a very few women there... not protected by a uniform (which let's face it... usually does afford one some respect, at least from civilians).

I knew it would affect my job, and I wasn't going to place myself in that situation. Not after all I had endured. No, I was far from stupid.

I certainly do not wish to dishonor any of my fellow veterans or current active duty servicemen and servicewomen. But as for the Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C., well...

I don't buy your statement. Not one bit.

I'm proud of my service, and I'm proud of our military! I always have been and I always will be.

And though I'm sure I may feel the backlash from those who've continued to remain silent, I no longer care. I remained silent for far too long and it caused me a breakdown for doing so. I want my life back.

I also want all of us, as a caring, empathetic, compassionate collective, to make sure this travesty ends and no further pain is allowed to occur (if at all possible) and if it does, those perpetrating that pain are properly punished for their crimes.

This is the right thing to do and it's time to do it.

Help support Military Sexual Assault Survivors by signing the petition initiated by Kori Cioca, one of the women profiled in "The Invisible War".

Here is what you're signing:

We, as a society, can no longer allow this criminal epidemic to continue unabated. We are losing too many good soldiers to an unjust system.  

Bills have now been introduced that would provide justice for sexual assault survivors currently serving in the U.S. Military, and would help alleviate the suffering of veterans who were sexually assaulted. In order for these bills to become law, they must pass a vote by specific committees prior to going to the full House or Senate for a final vote. Unfortunately most bills never get out of committee. Please join us in asking the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard “Buck” McKeon and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Carl Levin to support H.R. 3435, The STOP Act, and H.R. 1517, The Holley Lynn James Act.

We also ask Representative Jeff Miller and Senator Patty Murray who chair the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs respectively, to support H.R. 930, a bill that would make getting disability for military sexual assault-related condition from the Veterans Administration much easier.

Your overwhelming support of this legislature will send a clear message to the Department of Defense that it needs to take immediate measures to take the decision to investigate and prosecute rape crimes out of the hands of commanders, and provide access to disability for military sexual-assault survivors.

Originally posted to RoseWeaver on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 07:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Sluts and Rape and Domestic Violence.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well done, Rose (15+ / 0-)

    Keep up the great work.

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman


    Join me & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

    by Eclectablog on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:22:52 PM PST

  •  Hoist By Their Own Petard (12+ / 0-)

    The reason Republicans are taking so much backlash from this is that they've hitched themselves to his bandwagon.  There is no Democratic equivalent to him because we haven't allowed some loopy demagogue to hijack our party.  I remember Michael Steele saying something along the lines that Rush doesn't represent the party and HE was browbeaten into apologizing to Rush!  

    Rush has such a long history of saying terrible racist and sexist things you'd think they'd have enough sense to at some point have some stones and point out what this man is saying is wrong but they want to take the votes his red meat manufactured bigotry produces in the worst instincts of people.  They are reaping what they have been sowing the last 20 years.

    Take care of all humanity as if they were your brothers and sisters.

    by skidrow on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:26:03 PM PST

  •  This is not getting the traction it deserves here. (22+ / 0-)

    Hope to see it rescued. If not, post it again on a Sunday afternoon. It will get more eyeballs then.

    Sig seen on Redstate: ABO Anybody But Obama. Sorry, I'm stealing that.... Another Barack Opportunity. Vote Obama/Biden 2012!

    by mrsgoo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:49:56 PM PST

  •  Might I suggest add military veteran to the title. (14+ / 0-)

    Sig seen on Redstate: ABO Anybody But Obama. Sorry, I'm stealing that.... Another Barack Opportunity. Vote Obama/Biden 2012!

    by mrsgoo on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:51:10 PM PST

    •  Yeah, this deserves recommendation (14+ / 0-)

      list, but it just may be your title that is keeping people from clicking. At this point the reaction might be: "Another Rush Diary,"  and getting skipped because there have been so many.

      Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

      by hungrycoyote on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 08:56:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Done. TY /nt (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uciguy30, mrsgoo, radarlady, oceanview, JVolvo

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 09:01:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Suggestions only. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun

         Might add link to OleHippieChick's petition to the white housegov.org to remove RL from the Armed Services Radio - they have over 17,000 signatures but need 25,000 total to get it onto someone's desk.   Plus - mebbee add a link to veteran group's petition for the same end - VoteVets.org.   I do not know how to do links - but Thanks for this diary/post.

        •  I considered that... (0+ / 0-)

          but decided against it. Those petitions are doing incredibly well already, and this isn't a post about Rush Limbaugh and getting him off the air.

          This is a post about the War Against Women in the military which has been happening for decades, the scope of which is unknown to the vast majority of Americans, including many who serve within our Armed Forces... save those who have been affected by MST. And even they are not aware of the scope of it... and that they are not alone.

          So, I decided to focus on this topic only, using the Republican War on Women as a jumping off point.

          I thank the GOP for providing me with the right environment to finally shine a light on this issue.

          "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

          by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 09:21:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for sharing your story Rose and for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RoseWeaver, tikkun

            speaking out for all servicewomen.

            To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

            by JVolvo on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 11:22:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wife of Navy retiree here. And it's NOT OK. (17+ / 0-)

    My husband ran a tron shop in the Navy (avionics to civilians).  He had men and women--all young--working for him. The first thing he did when he took over was tell his people that there would be no ehtnic or religious jokes unless the teller belonged tot he group he was telling the joke about--and no rape jokes, ever, because rape was a crime and thus never, ever funny.

    His reward? One chief tried to call him on the carpet for violating their first amendment rights. He replied calmly that  telling people not to insult members of ethnic and religious groups of their own and not to condone rape was simply insisting they obey the UCMJ about professional conduct. And the MCPO of the division and the base (he happened to be both at the time) and the DO backed him.

    Yes, I married a mensch who is a feminist and defends women's rights. He also was one of the few married guys on deployment who wasn't lining up dates witht he single women in his P3 squadron.  He got flack over that--they  spread rumors that he was gay, Until our neighbor across the street said,"Him? Gay? Have you seen his wife? Ask him to show you her photos some time. He is NOT gay." Be a decent non-adulterer and you must be gay.

    I am well aware of the problems military women face.  I used to read the S&S for the 7 years we were overseas along with Navy Times.   Every damned month there was an article on a trial for sexual harassment or rape--and all too often the defense consisted of =, "Who do you believe? This fine upstanding  CPO with 12 years in, or these three young women fresh out of A school?"  Guess whom they believed.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 09:14:50 PM PST

    •  I can guess... (9+ / 0-)

      Easily. It is incredibly disturbing to me that this is such a consistent story across all services.

      But with recent events, I'm hoping things do begin to shift.

      What makes me incredibly sad is that a young friend of mine came to me for advice about entering the military. I told her not to go in and I told her why. She insisted she wanted to join, so I suggested that if she joined, she should go Air Force.

      She did.

      She was raped in 2006.

      She is now dealing with PTSD from that incident and fighting the VA for benefits, and I feel responsible. Though I warned her and it was her choice in the end, I still recommended the service as a viable option to her situation.

      It is 2012 and this just shouldn't be happening anymore.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 09:33:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for posting this, RoseWeaver. (6+ / 0-)

    It's time to fight back.

    If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

    by glorificus on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 09:21:55 PM PST

  •  Good Diary, Rose... (10+ / 0-)

    Compliments and more thoroughly completes a comment I made in StuHunter's diary earlier on the RL and AFN fiasco.

    I did Lackland 10 years before you.  This was before they had combat boots small enough to fit a size 5 foot and we were still wearing the old "bucket" hats.  Did basic and tech in tennis shoes.  

    I was in Security - but the LE side of it, because "real" Security wasn't open to women.  We still did everything, we just weren't eligible to carry the correct MOS.  

    As it was, we women weren't allowed to take patrol at night, nor could we take any patrol without a male as partner.  Spent a lot of time at the gates; especially since the seat in the trucks wouldn't go up far enough for me to reach the pedals.   The military didn't think about these "little" things when they opened the field up to us.

    I see how far we've come since I enlisted... and yet how some things just never seem to change.  It's hard not to be dismayed and disheartened.

    From one AF Vet to another.... I got your back, Sister.

  •  Mother of a SPC in the Army who has had (10+ / 0-)

    a sexual assault in the last 6 months and is still fighting for resolution.

    Co-signed.

    “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” ~Abraham Lincoln

    by second gen on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:13:56 PM PST

    •  Fighting for results where, if I may ask? (7+ / 0-)

      Still within the Army, or within the VA Benefits system? We may be able to assist with finding help if seeking help through the VA.

      Also, contact SWAN, Service Women's Action Network; they assist both men and women, active duty and veterans, legal assistance in all stages... and they also have a helpline for anyone who may need it.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:20:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Goodness I need sleep... (4+ / 0-)

        Because I keep forgetting to thank folks for signing, and I so greatly appreciate it, and I also want to send you and your SPC my best wishes!

        Please contact SWAN... they may be able help or lead you in the right direction if problems are arising.

        "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

        by RoseWeaver on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:23:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I will tell her to contact SWAN. (6+ / 0-)

          She is still active duty. Llbear has helped out with a lot of stuff, but sometimes, all the help in the world isn't enough.

          “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” ~Abraham Lincoln

          by second gen on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:31:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  sometimes... (4+ / 0-)

            ... sometimes, it simply takes time, and a lot of it. Let her know she's not alone. Let her know she's got a lot of Sisters out here on her side, thinking about her.

            Let her know that, although I experienced what she did at least 25 years ago, it has been only now that I'm healing and learning to cope.

            Let her know that it took me that long because I had to do it alone. She's not alone. She has you! You, other family members, and friends by her side and with her through her healing and while she learns to cope (because you never fully heal... this will always be with her) will help her get through this much more quickly... so she won't have to buck up and keep going as if nothing is wrong and break after 25 years of denial like I did.

            You are her first line of defense right now.

            I'm damn glad she has you. ((hug))

            "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

            by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 12:16:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              klimtone, RoseWeaver, suzq

              And I'm glad you're healing as well. People don't realize how much a sexual assault affects a person. And moreso, when they are thousands of miles away from support. In civilian life, you have something like that happen, you usually don't have to worry about losing your career if you come forward.

              “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” ~Abraham Lincoln

              by second gen on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 07:16:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  A good diary (5+ / 0-)

    Well written and very brave. Bravo, Rose

    I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. Kurt Vonnegut

    by klimtone on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 10:17:55 PM PST

  •  They're careful to fudge the numbers of women who (7+ / 0-)

    are CONVICTED of petty ass charges once they make an accusation of rape.  

    There was an Air Force Sgt. who was drugged and raped by two airmen.  The guy doing the investigation didn't like her-----let's face it, this is pretty much the mechanism by which 'false accusations of rape are created'----and arrested her for fraternization, conduct unbecoming, and drinking on duty.

    Her rapists got immunity-----to testify against her.  

    The guy who gave the last sexual assault briefing I attended was himself a molester and harasser who had been bounced from unit to unit.  During the briefing much was made of the fact that 52% of MST occurred in conjunction with drunking. Nobody----even when I asked----pointed out that that was statistically insignificant, given that that left 48% of rapes committed by stone cold sober rapists. Also,  booze doesn't make you a rapist.  It does however provide an alibi for rapists,  who benefit from the 'boys will be boys' alibi.  

    •  And herein lies the problem! REPRISAL! (5+ / 0-)

      This is why so many do not report their rapes, sexual assaults, and/or the severe sexual harassment they endure.

      Women know exactly what will happen if they do. They'll be re-victimized as you have so succinctly described above.

      At my second base, I was the only woman in a shop of 30 men. My immediate supervisor did NOT like women in the military and he made that fact known on a daily basis. Not only that, but he made it known that women were simply not smart enough to possibly understand the intricate delicacies of electronics and mechanics. The crap I heard from him day in and day out was horrid.

      And the guys took their cues from him. The harassment turned progressively worse. It turned sexual in nature, and not simply jokes, either. When I finally did complain to my chain of command, I was verbally counselled... twice. And a counselling statement was written on my performance report.

      While this guy stood up in a shop meeting and said, out loud, in front of everyone that women shouldn't be in the military, and hell, they shouldn't be working in maintenance, I had to listen to it while nobody said a word to him and nothing was done. And nothing was done to any other airman in that shop... for 18 months.

      So, when I was raped there, twice, no... I didn't report those rapes. I knew what would happen. My word against theirs. Or, at a minimum, "Oh, boys will be boys, you know."

      I still hear that from at least one member of my own family... 25 years later.

      The numbers were fudged back then and it's still being done. You hit the proverbial nail on the head, right there.

      Thank you for your comment, ginmar!

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 12:11:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good work and thank you (4+ / 0-)

    I knew some things were bad but you put a face and details on it Rose. These are problems we need to fix andcthe older i get, the sooner i want that done.

    Keep pushing and this old coot will be behind you,

  •  Would you please submit this to (5+ / 0-)

    LiketheDew?
    http://LikeTheDew.com
    It needs a wider audience.

    I will republish on Hannah Blog, but that won't preserve the links.

    Also, you should post this on Bluehampshire

    http://bluehampshire.com

    Our former Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter used to be on the Armed Services Committee until she was felled in 2010 by Koch Brothers money.  She's a candidate again and this topic would make for excellent discussion for Democrats in New Hampshire.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 04:37:56 AM PST

    •  Would love to, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah

      Could you please clarify how I would submit to these publications? It looks as though I need to create an account on both of them which isn't really a problem, but I'm wondering:

      Is there a waiting period before publishing like there is here on DKos? And would I need to write a new article (which isn't a problem; copy/paste works well), or is there the capability to link to this article?

      Thanks for any assistance and clarification you can provide, hannah!

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 09:14:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry I didn't respond sooner. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RoseWeaver, tikkun

        I got notice from LiketheDew that you were on board.  I think you'll like the crew.

        Bluehampshire doesn't have a waiting period, but there is a limit of two diaries in 24 hours. :)

        Bluehampshire is the premier political blog in that state, frequently visited by party big wigs and elected folk.  They like to have a Granite state hook, but veterans were Shea-Porter's signal issue, so there's a natural interest.  The 2010 election was a real backlash against women, IMHO.  I don't think we were prepared for the nastiness.  Also, the Koch Brothers interest in getting rid of the Northeast Energy Consortium came as a surprise.  That's what accounted for an unprecedented and unexpected money infusion.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 12:26:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hesitated with bluehampshire, but (0+ / 0-)

          no problem if I'm not in state? If not, I'll give it a go tomorrow. This one seems to be getting a lot of interest. I was contacted by other individuals today, so I'll post if you feel I should. And I'm at the point where I know it needs the visibility.

          Thanks for getting back to me. Much appreciated!

          "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

          by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 07:20:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's the nice thing about the (0+ / 0-)

            internets.  It doesn't matter where one happens to be physically.  One of the regulars on Bluehampshire is located in MA and I happen to be in Georgia much of the year.

            New Hampshire is one of the richest states in the nation because lots of stingy people retire there to take advantage of the tax climate. With just one million residents, it's not a big media market.  Original ideas have to come from alternative media.

            People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

            by hannah on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 11:48:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Submitted to ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah

      Like The Dew via their email link to their "editor". I'm hesitant to open another account at this time, but if I don't receive a reply, I will, and post there.

      Again, thank you!

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 09:44:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver

      Rec'd.

  •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 09:41:41 AM PST

  •  It's shameful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver

    that this goes on. A member of my family was also harassed and raped when she was in the service. She tried to fight back in the 80s and was unsuccessful. I support the struggle for justice and will sign your petition.

    Thanks for this diary.

    “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

    by Terranova0 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 08:00:41 PM PST

    •  YW. How is she now? (0+ / 0-)

      If she tried to fight back in the '80's, there may be enough evidence to file a claim for PTSD if she is struggling with any issues which are affecting her life in any way.

      This option should seriously be considered depending upon what evidence she has in her possession. Again, I would suggest she contact SWAN who is linked within the article.

      It is never too late to obtain assistance, not only for claims, but for any struggles related to PTSD.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:13:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        I will forward this on to her. She does suffer PTSD, and has gotten help for that. Those scars last a lifetime, tho.

        “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

        by Terranova0 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:29:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They do! I know this well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terranova0

          My PTSD is chronic. I did not file for PTSD benefits until 2008 because many who suffer, like me, either are unaware they can file, or also like me, are in denial and minimize either their assaults and/or the effects of their assaults, or both.

          When I finally filed, I was still working full time and doing well, but migraines were out of control and I knew the stress of PTSD was part of the reason. There were other effects occurring as well, such as problems within relationships, a pattern which kept popping up over the years... many things.

          Only a couple months after filing, I had to go on medical leave from my job due to the migraines. I then lost my job due to my disability.

          In January of this year, I was awarded benefits for PTSD, and today, I was just informed I was awarded full benefits for unemployability.

          So, yes, the scars of PTSD do last a lifetime, and sometimes, though they appear moderately for years, the full affect of them may not show up until decades later once triggered by situations and events, and we may never know when that will happen.

          Benefits can be awarded at anytime if evidence is in one's military records, however. That is the key. Contacting a GOOD lawyer, or SWAN can help her.

          "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

          by RoseWeaver on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 05:56:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And TY so much for signing! /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terranova0

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:14:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

    What an amazing post!
    The effort you put into this is truly remarkable.
    Thank so much for writing this.

  •  a pity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver

    It's terrible that women who want to serve their country have to go through this...and it's also terrible that for many low-income women, the military is their only chance for decent job training and a way to escape poverty.

    •  It is, indeed, a sad catch-22... (0+ / 0-)

      and in fact, a friend of mine asked my thoughts when she was trying to decide this very thing; whether or not to enlist in the military because she felt she had no other option for training and for a college degree.

      I told her what happened to me and urged her not to enlist. Only three years prior (in 2002), a student of my ex-husband's, who was an instructor at the time, was raped in her room by a fellow student... a violent attack. She pressed charges, but was re-victimized during the prosecution. she was asked questions about her past sexual history, what she was wearing, was she drinking at the time, and this was not a date-rape scenario either (which doesn't make a difference).

      The perpetrator of the crime? He got off with 30 days in correctional custody, and if I recall correctly, a reduction in rank of only one grade.

      She got out of the military due to extreme duress. A medical discharge.

      With my experiences in the '80's, and knowing what happened in 2002, I urged my friend not to enlist, but she was insistent it was her only option. I suggested the Air Force might be her best bet, then.

      She was raped the following year... in 2006.

      There simply is no excuse.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 12:26:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver

    should have been front paged.

    ...sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport,whereas Virtue, if a pauper is stopped at all frontiers. from The Sermon, Moby Dick

    by jts327 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 at 05:10:28 AM PDT

  •  you realize that this quote also means: (0+ / 0-)

    The command was practicing CYA for any future legal filings against the command for enabling the assaults or failing to act upon the reports. Because this would be used in the courts to undermine the survivor's credibility. It would especially play out that way in the press.

    Someone like Flush would jump on that BPD diagnosis and shred the survivor's reputation to bits.

    The fact that it helped the VA deny benefits to the Vet is just a bonus [note snark]

    "She disputed the diagnosis, but it was not until months later that she found what seemed powerful ammunition buried in her medical file, portions of which she provided to The New York Times. “Her command specifically asks for a diagnosis of a personality disorder,” a document signed by the psychiatrist said.

    Veterans’ advocates say Captain Carlson stumbled upon evidence of something they had long suspected but had struggled to prove: that military commanders pressure clinicians to issue unwarranted psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of troops."

    •  Yes. And an attorney for the Army insisted; (0+ / 0-)

      this kind of thing just doesn't happen. I had a lengthy discussion with him in a later diary, but because he refused to listen or read the cited and linked articles and videos, he insisted this would never happen... Commanders would never do anything like this.

      Three individuals (men, two with military ties) all insisted what I was asserting was patently untrue.

      Hey, I know nothink. snaps to salute [snort]

      Commanders never CYA... no. [shakes head]

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 08:50:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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