Above, Kori Cioca describes to the Associated Press her experience of serving in the Coast Guard and attempting get help from her chain of command after a sexual assault.
“You’re supposed to feel safe on a military base, and by no means did I feel safe–ever. I never knew what was going to happen to me.
And in a sense I still don’t. Because I still have nightmares of this man.
He dislocated my jaw. He broke my jaw. [...]
I went for help. By chain of command, I went for help, to higher up who were the head of the station. Several times with other petty officers who had witnessed this man grabbing me, touching me, screaming at me, and they told me that they weren’t going to switch my section because ‘I didn’t like somebody.’
Well, long story short I was raped.
When I told my command they waited. They didn’t do anything to help me. It’s like they didn’t care. It wasn’t important. I wasn’t important. The Coast Guard’s a life-saving service, and yet they didn’t save mine.
I was hoping mine would be some freak accident. But it’s not. And that’s what makes me sick.”
Cioca was a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) filed against former Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld alleging negligence in dealing with military sexual assault. The case was dismissed on the grounds the military enjoyed immunity from such action in December 2011.
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