Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am in need of some desperate advice. In August, I was sexually assaulted by one of my husband's higher-ups.
It was a tough road before and most definitely it is a daily struggle lately.
The man who assaulted me was a friend, practically family. I used to watch his children for him and his wife often. We spent holidays, birthdays and cookouts together regularly. My husband deployed with him and lived with him for a year. He was somewhat of a role model for my husband.
This man was a good man, but had his share of fidelity issues. There would even be times where I would drop off lunch to my husband, and he would be complaining about how bored he was of his wife.
This was after the fact that he was at my house just about a year ago today, making out with a fellow female soldier in their unit. Another "I don't remember" lie is in the works right now. History does repeat itself, after all! I guess the safest word to use for him, is SCUMBAG.
So, here is my dilemma, Ms. Vicki. After this all happened, they moved him to a different unit, but he is still in the same battalion. I risk seeing him on Organizational Day, at Family Readiness Group meetings, and so on. My husband also risks seeing him. Is there anything that can be done in order to change this?
My husband is due to re-enlist, but is stuck in his unit regardless due to the possibility of him being deployed again and being sent to the National Training Center, as well. He cannot be locked in to any new military occupational specialty anytime soon.
What bugs me more is that his sergeant major suggested to my husband that he "clarify with his soldiers" about what happened.
I am enraged how people can be so ignorant, and I am completely fed up with all of it. More than anything, I am embarrassed for those who are supposed to be looked up to in the Army, and how they can be so thick-headed. Please give me some sort of advice!
Wait a minute: You were sexually assaulted.You reported it. And they moved the perpetrator to a different company within the battalion? Who did you report it to?
I hope that you went to the emergency room and reported it to the doctor. I hope you involved the MPs. I hope you made a complaint to the company commander or battalion commander. This should have been done, and an internal investigation should have followed. That kind of complaint does not declare the perpetrator guilty, but an investigation is necessary.
Sexual assault is criminal. Neither you nor your husband should have feared reprisal for coming forward with the complaint. I think you should speak to a victims advocate for guidance, support and resources. You can find victims advocates in the Army Community Services department or Social Work Services.
Please write back to clear up some of the missing pieces for me. Right now, it appears that you were sexually assaulted and you’ve had to move on like this never happened. That isn’t right. I hope to hear from you soon.
|Family and Spouse|
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.
Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.