Transcript for Senator says she was raped by Air Force officer
Like Q I am also a military sexual assault the driver. But unlike so many brave survivors. I didn't report being sexist. Like so many women and men I didn't trust the system at the time. I blame myself. I was changing confused. And I thought I was strong. But felt powerless. The perpetrators abuse there position of power in profound ways. And in one case I was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer. I stays silent for many years by later in my career. As a military grapple with scandals and their wholly inadequate responses. I felt the need to let some people now I too was a survivor. I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences where Handel. I almost separated from air force at eighteen years. Or my despair. Like many victims. I felt the system as raking you know. But it in quit. I decided to stay and continue to serve and fights and meet. To be a voice from within the ranks for women and then in the house and now in the senate. So this is personal for me to. But it's personal from two perspectives. As a commander who led Maine airman in the combat and as a survivor of rape and betrayal. I share the disgust of the failures of the military system and many commanders who failed. In their responsibilities. But is for these very reason that we must allow. We must demand. That commanders stay at the center of the solution. And live up to the moral and legal responsibilities that come with being a commander. We must fix those distortions in the culture of our military that permit sexual harm towards women and yes some men as well. We must educate select and then further educate commanders. Who want to do the right thing but who are nigh eve to the realities of taxables. We must ensure that our commanders are train and empowered to take legal action prosecute fairly and read perpetrators from our ranks. And if the commander is the problem. Are fails in his or her duties they must be removed and held partially accountable. I don't take this position lightly. It's been framed often as some people are advocating for the victims. While others are advocating for the command chain or the military establishment. This is clearly a false choice. There are many commanders. Who had welcomed taking this responsibility off their plate. Those are the very commanders we don't want leading our troops. We cannot command change from the outside alone it must be deployed from a then. It must be built and constantly maintain an expertly managed by commanders who are themselves educated conditioning given the tools to ensure. What used and by. And when I survived. To that and I've very strongly believe that the commander must not be removed. From the decision making responsibility or preventing detecting. And prosecuting military's actual sol. We are survivors together. And I'm honored to be here and use my voice and unique experience to work on this mission and stop military sexual assault for. Into this to turn.
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