MY STORY: I was assaulted many years ago but the effects have always haunted me and I never knew where to turn for help or even bother but my life has been adversely effected ever since and I just somone to hear my story
I was sexually assaulted by a shipmate and very close freind (at the time) while aboard ship. I ws not a model sailor but I was far from the worse. I never committed any serious infractions or anything like that; mainly it the incidents were for being late for this or that and disobeying a direct order
The incident happened in 1983 while I was serving aboard the USS Durham LKA-114 which has since been decomissioned. while in port I was sexully assaulted by a shipmate who I knew very well. I was sleeping in an empty stateroom which is to be used by officers when fully staffed but in port the rooms are vacant.
: while sleeping I was awakened by this man performning oral sex on me; I completely froze for a few secons and my mind went blank and I can't tell you what was going through my mind at the time. I just began to kick wildy until he stopped the he ran out of the stateroom
I stayed there alone for I don't know how long; paralyzed and frightened and I did not know what to do; bear in mind that I was just 20-years old at the time. I kept the incident to myself for 2-3 days but I could keep it to myself; I felt so ashamed, violated and broken. who would believe me? everyone knew that we were freinds but as God nis my witness I never asked for or invited what happened but the sense of responsibility was crushing me and in some measure it does today.
Finally, after 2-3 days of confusion and fear I decided to tell the Master at arms abord ship about what occurred; it took everything I had to report this and I think I creid the entire time and I wanted answers and help but I was sadly mistaken. Shall I go on?
I avoided (let's call him Skip) anytime after the assault. He avoid me (I assume) and I definitley avoided him but I wanted answers; I considered him a freind and he violated every measure of trust that exists. Looking back on it now I have come to realize that this is the predator's method; get the target to trust them and let their guard down then make their move. no more than a week later while I was standing watch on the quarter deck I saw Skip being escorted off the ship by the Master at arms with all gear in hand and although we looked
straight into each others eyes we did not say a word; I reminder it all like it was yesterday. I expected to hear from the XO, Captain, divsion officer or someone after Skip was escorted away but no one in authority asked me anything afterwards but I made it crystal clear that I was assaulted. I was not offered counseling or asked how was I doing or was I alright; none of that.
Then, about a month later I was informed that I was being prosecuted or processed out of the Navy by way of and admin discharge even though I had not committed any recent offenses. I was told that my servce was unsatifatory and not fit for Naval service. By this time, I had less than 7-months to serve before my enlistment ended in which I was certain to recieve an honorable discharge
I could not believe any of this was happening to me and as I look back on the incident I have at times cursed myself for for speaking up and reporting what happened but I just could not sit back k and do nothing about it and I thought I was doing the right thing. Anyway, the admin board decidedn that I should be discharged with a general under honorable conditions. In discussions with my attorney she didn't feel that the Navy had a viable case and and she strongly felt that I would simply be allowed to complete my 7-months remaining
and be done with it. in her opinion the worse case scenario would be a general discharge and by this time I just wanted everything to be over with; it was just too much for me.
thanks. Ultimately, the board decided on a gen under honorable conditions which at that point I did not mind because it meant that I could retain benefits and keep my sense of dignity and give me some measure of validation back; keep in mind that at no time was I offered help or counseling and by this time it was clear, at least in my estimation, that the Navy just wanted me gone; this well before the "don't ask don"t tell policies and things like that
: 4-6 weeks passed and the final paperwork came back so I could be discharge I was shockeing board d to find out that the covenening admin board was invalid because the senior officer on the board was a reservist rather than a full time Naval officer! Really? Robert-you can't make this kind of stuff up! At this point my attorney assumed that the case would be dropped because of the time and resources to re-try or convene another board and I had so little time yet to serve out my obligation but that was not the case
a new admin board was in fact reconvenned and this time I was given an OTH (other than honorable discharge) and because admin boards are considered non-judicial punishment there's no appeal process. if that's not justice the what is! I cannot even begin to express how this entire ordeal has effected my life; it won't go away and I still struggle with self esteem and trust and the entire myriad of symptoms victims of sexual assault suffer
I don't if anyone cares about what happened since it was so long ago; the Navy discarded me like an piece of scap iron or less; truthfully, this ordeal still continues to haunt me; the assault was bad enough but the ensuing OTH discharge; That's just too much for me and if my service records could be reviewed by the proper authority it's all there
so, why am I here now telling my story? well, I have overwhelming feelings of inadeqaucey, fear of rejection, self esteem and all the other symptoms; I read like a book in this regard and it interferes with my personal relationships;especially intimate ones; especially when it comes to trust admittedly I am a broken man and in low times my sense of personal self worth is trashed and personally no I don't feel that anything will change
what made this situation even worse is that I was molested on at least 3-ocassions as a boy so I didn't know or realize at that time but I was traumitized before any of this crap ever happened