Sunday, December 22, 2013

What's the Point?

I've spent a great deal of my time deliberately trying to make a mountain out of a mole-hill, and for what I thought was a damn good reason: In late February of 2011 while I was deployed in Iraq, a male squad-mate forced himself into my room, grabbed my shirt-collar, threw me into a wooden wall-locker, then after searching my room B-Lined straight at me while I was barely off my floor. Several Shrinks & Lawyers later, I've come to agree with their assessment that this incident was extremely fucking likely about to become a rape, were it not for a male NCO that so happened to come strolling along past my still-open door. TO THIS VERY DAY, that incident was never formally or officially addressed, investigated or even acknowledged by my (now former) Commanding Officer nor my Unit: Certainly NOT for failing to report it, of course.

Now that I'm no longer in the Army (I got out this Summer) I've tried very hard, to my detriment, to raise as much awareness about this as I possibly can. I've been screaming it at the top of my lungs since the day I hung up my ACUs, and with the exception of some good folks I've gotten to know via the Twitter Atheist Community, I've received little to no support AT ALL: I've harangued the Army Times newspaper, reached out to what seems like a non-existent "Women Veterans Network" whom has yet to resound to ONE EMAIL almost 6 months after I initially contacted them, I've even written a very detailed letter, to include EVERYTHING surrounding the incident mentioned above, to a US Senator: What acknowledgement have I received for trying to clue in the public about JUST HOW SERIOUS the military's rape crisis really is?

With the exception of appearing on some Independent Humanist media programs, because they graciously agreed to allow me on their programs, ZILCH.

I don't want money, not for THIS. Maybe I'm just exaggerating here, but it seems like the louder I try to make myself sound, the harder people jam their fingers into their ears. Really? Is this how far things have degraded that people who try to speak out about sexual violence are seen as little more than an annoyance? I've even tried writing a book about the entire ordeal, lousy fucking writers' block killed THAT project (at least for now, I hope.) 

Why am I trying to do what feels like the right thing if no one wants to hear my side of things? What is the point of raising my voice, shaking my fists and gnashing my teeth for all the Internet to see just to be shut out and bypassed like the 14th beggar on the same city block? If you have no idea what I'm talking about AND have half-an-hour to kill, proceed no further until you've seen THIS, and hopefully when you're done my frustration conveyed in this post will make some degree of sense to you. 

Again, I am not doing any of this for money: I am doing this because I find it morally fucking abhorrent that the Army treats sexual assault & harassment as a means of punishing Soldiers who screw up instead of as the criminal acts that THEY ARE.

Would I be wrong in interpreting apathy for acceptance? Are people REALLY okay with things just the way they are? Whoah, I do hope not! How bad do things have to get that someone who breaks the rules, however severely, is objectified and dehumanized to such an extreme capacity because of it? Worse yet, that such things are quietly encouraged to continue by those in charge? I THOUGHT that this was an issue worth bringing up publicly once the boots came off for good, but it would seem that I've just been shouting into an abyss all this time. Trust me, I've tried the whole "Unrestricted Reporting" road while I was still in the Army, my own at-the-time C.O. deliberately ignored my story: Fuck him right in the eye, the coward.

Maybe I'm still not trying hard enough, maybe I need to aim higher if I want my story to truly be known.

I'm going to consult YET ANOTHER LAWYER, and then I'll do my damnedest open up the cyber-flood-gates, I'd kindly appreciate as much help that you'd be willing to give me.

I titled that original entry "Vae Victis" for a reason.

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