Talk About Victim Blaming

August 7, 2007 at 2:55 pm (frightening things, injustice, sexism, stupidity) (, )

A female airman was raped at a party by three male members of the Air Force. She went to the hospital for a medical examination and reported the attack.

In her letter, she also said the three male airmen were charged with rape but the charges were dropped after she refused to testify. The woman said she was questioned by the men’s defense lawyer without her victim’s advocate present, which her lawyers said was a violation of military justice policy.

“The pressure of the judicial process was too much for me, and I felt like no one was looking out for my interests,” the woman wrote.

So she was obviously intimidated and felt too stressed out to testify- which the Air Force evidently takes to mean that the act was consensual (which is total crap)- and is now facing charges for her own rape. Seriously.

The woman is charged with one count of committing indecent acts and one count of consuming alcohol as a minor, said base spokesman Ed Drohan. The men received nonjudicial punishments and were granted immunity for their testimony in the woman’s trial, according to documents provided by the woman’s military defense attorneys.

If convicted on both counts, the woman could face up to a year in jail, reduction in rank, a cut in pay in allowances, a possible bad conduct discharge and be required to register as a sex offender, her defense lawyers said.

Drohan said he didn’t know the maximum sentence.

There’s no way to process or comprehend stories like this. They’re just too terrible. From another source:

“If I had any idea that I would be treated the way that I have been, I would have never reported this assault. The process has almost been as painful as the rape,” she wrote.

“Will other women come forward after a rape when they hear that this is how they may be treated?”

And some people still wonder why anyone would hesitate. Contact her governor and congresspeople and demand that they show her support, and put an end to this completely unreasonable, absurd, and offensive ordeal.

Via Feministing.

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3 Comments

  1. Gerri said,

    Thank you for bringing attention to this. I find it very disturbing. I have written the following to Gov. Perry of Texas. Do you have contact information for the Governor of North Carolina or the Air Force?
    ————
    Governor Perry,

    I have recently read the story of Air Force airman Cassandra Hernandez who is facing a court martial in September at Pope Air Force Base for allegedly committing indecent acts and consuming alcohol as a minor.

    Hernandez is stationed at Pope Air Force base, but is a Texas native. It is my understanding that she has written to you to request your help.

    Ms. Hernandez reported that she was raped in the early morning hours of May 13, 2006 by three airmen after a party at which she admits she consumed alcohol.

    When she refused to testify against the men because she did not feel that she could make it through the judicial process without having a complete breakdown, the Air Force then granted the men she accused of the rape immunity in exchange for their testimony against her.

    I am asking you to please help Ms. Hernandez in any way that you can. If convicted she faces harsh penalties as well as being a convicted sex offender who will have to register for the rest of her life.

    I believe that she was raped, but even if she were not, I do not believe there is any way on earth that she is guilty of a sexual assault against one of these men.

    If you will, please look into this matter and see if you can do anything that would help Ms. Hernandez.

    Sincerely,

    Gerri X XXXXXXXX

  2. Cara at The Curvature is right: Fuck the whole system. « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] frightening things, injustice, patriarchy/sexism, violence, white supremacy/racism) This is why. And so is this. And […]

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