Oh boy, the real world once again intrudes on my sports time. Seems the US Air Force’s sexual assault and prevention response officer was arrested in Northern Virginia for groping a woman in public. An Air Force general is in trouble for having dismissed charges against an officer CONVICTED by a jury for a sexual assault. Even the current US president is saying he won’t have any tolerance of sexual assault. I have to admit, I’m puzzled over this stuff but not certain why its increasing. Actually, the reporting is increasing; probably not the prevalence.
A long time ago, I had an Air Force girlfriend. Before I had met her, she was in another country when she was raped by a fellow service person. The service person held a knife he had purchased against her throat while he forced himself on her. The way he got her to come to his room and how he made her do it; she felt he had done it before.The Air Force’s Office of Special Investigation was doing its job, taking care of business when the unit commander stepped in. He ended up leaking my girlfriend’s name to the unit; friends of the guy started harassing her and they started making my friend’s sexual history an issue. She had a relationship with a married officer prior to the rape. Then the commander reduced the charge to Article 15 … non-judicial punishment. You see, a rape charge while commanding a unit is seen as a negative event impacting an officer’s career. Non-judicial punishment is a way of getting around it. It also allows the offender to remain on active duty and possibly continue their behavior at other duty stations. Meanwhile, it has serious, serious effects on the victim. My girlfriend never got therapy for what she had gone though. For a while she feared he was HIV+. She learned later on the guy got booted out of the service on a drug charge. Maybe. I don’t think she wanted me to know who did it and where to find him. I definitely wanted to find him.
You need to understand, an officer’s career is everything to them. An officer will die for their country but not sacrifice their career. Negative events are not good for the career. Furthermore, the Air Force is especially career oriented. And I don’t even want to get into the holy roller aspect of Air Force officership. I believe in God but your beliefs should not interfere with your duties. This is my opinion but in the Air Force, “immoral” behavior is often blamed on the victim. Especially if its a female, junior ranking victim. They can’t protect themselves or rally the system for support.
Here’s a reason I think sexual assaults are up: homosexuals are now allowed in the military. It’s NOT homosexuals doing the assaults. It’s the fact women can now openly be lesbian or bisexual. Before, a female may have been in danger of getting booted out if they revealed the true nature of their intimate relationships while in a sexual assault investigation. Victims were as liable as a perpetrator to get discharged. Now it’s not as much a problem.
I learned sexual assault could happen to anyone, without it actually happening to me. I went to a club with some coworkers on a Friday. One of our sister units persons bought me a shot of Goldschlager. The next night, I woke up in my car, remembering nothing. I found out I had thrown up in the club, passed out on the floor of the bathroom, my colleagues called my girlfriend to come get me. They helped me to my car; she couldn’t get me out of the car when we got home. I sat up sleeping in the car for 24 hours. I had never had that happen, before or since. Later, I learned the sister unit’s person, who I thought was a friend, hated me. I also learned about something called GHB that went very well with Goldschlager.
It can happen. It can happen with people you believe you can trust. And for the vast majority of the assault cases, I believe them. The generals overturning the convictions still think its about sex. It has nothing to do with sex. It’s all about power and control, which is why the main victims are junior female enlisted.