Here is the latest sexual assault / harassment story making headlines:
Katie Rapp was surprised when she was told to go to a Perkins restaurant outside Cincinnati to discuss the investigation into her claims of sexual harassment.
Rapp, a member of the Ohio National Guard, sat in a corner booth trying to fend off a panic attack as she described her experience in Afghanistan. A Beyoncé song blasted in the background.
“Everything I went through in [the] country was hard. It really sucked,” Rapp told BuzzFeed News. “But my investigation was the hardest four hours of my life.”
It’s been over two years since Rapp was sent home from Afghanistan and 19 months since her investigation interview in March 2013. In about 30 days she will learn if she will get her wish to receive an honorable medical discharge from the military, or be required to stay until her contract ends in 2018. She had been distracting herself from thinking about the case by attending classes in biochemistry at the University of Cincinnati, but has since taken some time off due to the medical board evaluation process.
Rapp’s case was assigned to Lt. Col. Lisa Gammon. The National Guard and Gammon would not comment on how many previous military sexual assault cases Gammon had investigated, but, according to her LinkedIn profile, she had been working with the Ohio National Guard since 2008.
Rapp had already become disillusioned with the National Guard by the time she met with Gammon. Rapp claims that she was repeatedly sexually harassed by men on her unit, both while deployed in Afghanistan and also during basic training in South Carolina. She said that after reporting the incidents, her captain transferred her to a different platoon, rather than punishing her alleged harassers. She was sent to a mandatory psychological evaluation, diagnosed with an “adjustment disorder,” and sent home.
“I learned that nobody believes you unless you can prove it,” said Rapp. So she decided to record her interview with Gammon, just in case the meeting didn’t go well.
In her words, “It was four straight hours of victim-blaming.” (Buzzfeed)
You can read the rest at the link.
It will be interesting to see if she gets the discharge she wants due to claiming to have PTSD for sexual harassment. Instead of discharging her they should first conduct a more professional investigation then what was reported in this article.
Considering the cover ups of such cases uncovered in the Alaska National Guard this makes me wonder if the Guard has got the memo that all sexual harassment and assault cases will be thoroughly investigated?