The first female combat pilot serving in the US Air force, as well as US Senator Martha McSally, told a superior officer had raped her but the rape incident was not reported by her as she had not to trust on the system and blamed herself.
The female combat pilot in the US Air Force , McSally told, “ The perpetrators abuse their position of power in profound ways, and in one case I was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer” , during a hearing in Senate on the sexual assaulting issues in the military.
She also added, “ But unlike so many brave survivors, I didn’t report being sexually assaulted. Like so many women and men, I didn’t trust the system. I blamed myself. I was ashamed and confused. I thought I was strong but felt powerless.”
McSally was unable to identify her attacker.
Most of the time the harassment and sexual assault related incident in the US military is remained under-reported and came out during a renewed probe. Two years ago , the involvement of Marines in the scandal of online sharing nude photos of women has been revealed.
McSally told at the hearing of Senate Armed Services subcommittee, “ I stayed silent for many years, but later in my career, as the military grappled with scandals and their wholly inadequate responses, I felt the need to let some people know: I too was a survivor”.
She told, “I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences were handled ”, including that she decided to leave the Air Force after 18 years.
She added, “Like many victims, I felt the system was raping me all over again. ”
Air Force representative Captain Carrie Volpe told in a statement: “We are appalled and deeply sorry for what Senator McSally experienced and we stand behind her and all victims of sexual assault. We are steadfast in our commitment to eliminate this reprehensible behaviour and breach of trust in our ranks. ”
Another member of the subcommittee, Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth who is also a retired Army lieutenant colonel and lost his two legs in the war in Iraq, professed on the hearing, “the military “has utterly failed at handling sexual assault.”
The revelation of McSally came out after the statement of Senator Joni Ernst, an Army veteran, told publicly that she had been raped in college by an individual who was known to her and her ex-husband had abused her physically.
As a Republican Ernst worked with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the past for combating against sexual assault in the military.