San Antonio Express-News
"Twice Betrayed: Military Sexual Trauma"
Tens of thousands of men and women reported being sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. military in the past 10 years. More alarming, tens of thousands of more cases go unreported. According to a Department of Defense survey, there were 26,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2012 but only 11% of them were reported. One in four female soldiers have been sexually assaulted. For most, the assault is only the beginning of the traumatic experience. Victims who report the incidents are often retaliated against and discharged on false claims that they have mental disorders. The military has discharged more than 30, 000 troops for personality disorders since 2001. Offenders are rarely punished and most are allowed to stay in the armed forces.
Anna, Myah,Terri and Elle all reported being sexually assaulted while serving. None of their cases were prosecuted. Anna and Terri were forced out of the military by psychiatric diagnosis. Elle was forced out after she continued to push for an investigation and Myah was honorably discharged after fighting a psychiatric diagnosis for several months. The four survivors continue to suffer from PTSD, from the assaults, sexual trauma and the way the military treated them after.
"I look out the windows and the outside world is scary. It's beautiful still, but it's scary too because you never know who you can trust now," says Anna Moore who was forced out of the Army by being diagnosed with a pre-existing psychiatric illness, personality disorder, after reporting being sexually assaulted. The assault, followed by the way her superiors handled her reporting the attack, led to a life of PTSD, agoraphobia and panic attacks.