Beloved Enemy, or Sexual Assault in the Military

18 May

Beloved Enemy, or Sexual Assault in the Military

I outed myself today in a Facebook discussion of the latest military statements on sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Yup, I was one of the 20% of women who was sexually assaulted while in the military.

At the time, I didn’t call it that.

Nor, probably, would anyone else have called it that.

I was crudely groped in a vault in Jacksonville, Florida while the people who normally worked there were at lunch. I had happened to stop by to see a document kept there at exactly the same time as a married acquaintance stopped by to see the same thing.

He apparently thought the absence of anyone else who could serve as a witness granted him leave to do anything he wanted to do.

Thankfully, I was able to handle it with a “What are you, crazy? Don’t ever do that again” and a hurried departure.

The thing that subsequently made me maddest was that he was promoted to lieutenant commander faster than I was. The dirtball!

I worked with him again in London and he never again tried anything with me. I hope he never tried anything with anyone else either.

All that to say, as a statistic, I am glad the military is addressing sexual assault.

I do disagree with General Odierno calling fighting sexual assault the Army’s primary mission, but I understand that he was resorting to hyperbole.

The reason we fight sexual assault is because, aside from being ungodly, it also breaks down unit cohesion. If you can’t trust your fellow soldiers or sailors to treat you as a person instead of as the sum of your anatomical parts, you really can’t belong to a unit!

Not to put too fine a point on it . . .

One Response to “Beloved Enemy, or Sexual Assault in the Military”

  1. Nancy Schrier May 18, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

    Thank you Mary for your cander. If you cannot feel safe with your fellow mates, how can you feel safe while on a mission. I have always admired you, and now even more so. Love ya, Nan

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