Can you imagine what it is like to be a woman in the military? Unfortunately being raped is one of the struggles women face. Ruthie is a rape survivor She shares her story this week on the podcast about being raped, not once but twice and what she did to help someone who was being harassed.
Ruthie served in the US Army for 8.5 years. She was stationed in California, Kentucky, Georgia, and Texas. She also did a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. she separated from the Army as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in 2015. After staying at home for several months, she went back to work as a federal contractor in Maryland.
When she became pregnant with her fourth child, she decided to start freelance writing on the side. Closer to her delivery date, she decided she wanted to quit my job and grow her business full time. Now, she runs a boutique content marketing agency called Defy The Status Quo.
Surviving Rape in the Military – Episode 58
Ruthie was planning to go to college and focus on language, but during her senior year of high school, she decided to take the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude and Battery (ASVAB) test because her school was offering it and she thought why not. She did so well that all the recruiters for all the branches came to her house to try and recruit her. She quickly decided not to join the Navy or Marines because they chop off your hair. And she didn’t want to do Air Force because her older brother was already serving in the Air Force and even though she wasn’t serious about joining she consistently talked to the Army recruiter. He told her about a program to learn a language in California. This piqued her interest and brought her to the Army.
She went to Army Basic Training and then followed that by going to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. She was there for just over a year followed by six months of technical training in Texas. Then she headed to Arizona for four months before arriving at her first duty station in Kentucky. Six months later she deployed to Afghanistan.
Deployment to Afghanistan
She faced a number of struggles while deployed. But she survived and made it back home. Transitioning back to normal life was hard, but she was able to adjust. And although things from her deployment still linger she is doing well today.
Next, we talked about the struggle she faced while serving in the military. She was raped twice. The first time it was her boyfriend who didn’t stop when she said no. She got him to confess when she reported it, but the tape was damaged when it was placed by an HVAC unit that malfunction. The follow-up investigation was minimal and in the end, he ended up only receiving a Letter of Reprimand in his file. The second time it was after her deployment, the night she got home. She partied with those who had come home and she forgot to lock her door and he came in and raped her. She decided not to report the incident because of how the first case had gone.
Supporting Other Women
Years later when a young lady was being sexually harassed, she initially was going to tell her the system didn’t work but realized she could be her champion and was willing to support her with every means she could. Everything worked as it was supposed to and he lost his job and it was nice to see the system actually work.
If you have been raped or assaulted or are looking for support in a current situation please email me at airmantomom at gmail dot com so that I can help you find support. I have a huge network of military veterans and service members willing to help women who need support in their military journey.
And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Ruthie’s story on the podcast you can check it out here.
Connect with Ruthie:
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