For the first time I’m able to openly share my story with my name attached to it instead of anonymous. Military sexual assault happens more than people know and it’s time for me to start to stand up against it.

I was raped while I was in the military. A co-worker of mine came over to my house when I was having a bad day. He knew I was not into him and that I was not into men. He claimed to be there as a friend, to talk. He made me a few drinks and the rest of the night went blurry. I do not know if he put something in the drink or not. The only thing I know was waking up in the middle of it wanting to scream, but not able to get a word out. I was frozen in fear.

I woke up the next day scared and confused. Words could not express the feelings I had inside.

For years I’ve blamed myself, but now I can look back and see that I did nothing wrong. There wasn’t a part of me that would have ever given that man consent and the memory I do have during the act was very far from consent.

He raped me and that is not okay, period.

The military fails miserably at recognizing rape and helping victims. Instead they blame victims and try to sweep it under the rug. This will never change unless more survivors come forward, tell their story and help put an end to it. That’s why I’ve decided to no longer be in the shadows about what happened to me. I may not have reported it then, but I’m reporting it now in a public way by sharing my story.

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