Women in the army share personal stories of sexual abuse with the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen
#IAmVanessaGuillen: Female army members share their personal stories of sexual harassment while on duty, following soldier Vanessa Guillen’s horrific murder.
The 20-year-old female soldier went missing at the end of April, shortly after telling her family she had been sexually abused by a sergeant. Vanessa’s remains were found last week, after two months of searching.
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Please Read and Share : Vanessa Guillen has been missing over 69 days from Fort Hood Army Base and was also sexually harassed by a superior ! She confided with her mother, Gloria Guillen about the situation and how she felt un-safe. Her mother told Vanessa to report it and to tell her the name of that man. Vanessa did not wanted to report the case because he has also done it to other female soldiers and nothing would of been done if she would of filled the report like the others. When female soldiers make any type of sexual reports, the military takes it as joke. Those women are the ones risking their life for us and country, just like Vanessa Guillen. It is truly disgusting and disappointing how they treat our soldiers, those soldiers deserve respect and awareness. Women should not be seen as a sexual objects, they are humans too ! More than 80% of women in their military suffer from sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and rape; and many of those do not get justice. Soldiers have suffered sexual allegations while being in service-on base, but yet nothing is done, because usually its their superiors. Those same superiors promise to protect, respect, and keep safe our soldiers, yet their keep failing over and over again. Vanessa Guillen and our female soldiers need-demand justice and awareness. Vanessa Guillen is voiceless but we, the people are going to be her voice. We are voices to the voiceless. We plead any service women or veteran to please share their story, do not be afraid, we have your back ! Join us ! United we make strength and a difference ! Together #WeAreVanessaGuillen To our female soldiers #IamVanessaGuillen We will not stop until we obtain #JusticeForVanessa We will not stop, We will not be silent like Fort Hood, We will #FindVanessaGuillen Please share, sign, donate, and protest in your community [protest in front of Army Bases, Recruitment Buildings, Etc] #BringBackVanessa
Emphasizing on the severity of sexual harassment in the military, female army members shared their own stories under the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen, Upworthy reports.
Army women all over social media are sharing their chilling stories of being victims of sexual abuse while serving.
A veteran Coast guard shared on Twitter:
“My name is Morgan and #IAmVanessaGuillen. I was 18. It was at my first duty station. He was 45.”
My name is Morgan and #IAMVANESSAGUILLEN
I was 18. It was at my first duty station. He was 45
“It’s just because you’re fresh meat”
“It will stop eventually”
“You’ll get a dishonorable discharge if you snitch”
Your voice will not be silenced❤️#FindVanessaGuillen pic.twitter.com/G9fkh062ZK
— McLovin♥‿♥ (@mogie_bearrr) June 21, 2020
Morgan goes on explaining that while this horror was happening to her, she was told things like, “It’s just because you’re fresh meat”. However, she firmly believes the voice of women fallen victims of sexual violence will not be silenced.
Another Twitter user shared:
“I was 22. I never reported it for fear of backlash. Why would I, when the most they did for another girl who reported a different person was ask her if she led him on?”
I was 22. I never reported it for fear of backlash. Why would I, when the most they did for another girl who reported a different person was ask her if she led him on?#IAMVANESSAGUILLEN pic.twitter.com/EbyOo8R7me
— Karina @ KEEP FIGHTING (@BigTofuu) July 1, 2020
Hundreds of women involved in the army shared a similar experience to Guillen.
The viral hashtag #IAmVanessGuillen brought attention to a deeply ignored problem in the Army forces.
I just turned 20. I wasn’t even done with training when I was assaulted.
I reported. He confessed and 4 other women came forward. He was acquitted. Two E8 jury members laughed in my face after giving the “not guilty” verdict. He got a promotion. I got PTSD. pic.twitter.com/N9BFfo6Mtb
— ~ d ~ (@mf_p0tat0) July 1, 2020
In a follow-up post, the Twitter user @mf_p0tat0 shared a list of facts about sexual violence in the U.S. military, captioning: “This is FAR from over.”
According to the fact sheet conducted by the non-profit organization Protect Our Defenders, 59% of the females who reported penetrative sexual assault were assaulted by someone with a higher rank than them. Additionally, 24% were assaulted by someone in their chain of command.
Moreover, a former Coast Guard member proved the issue was not a newly-occurred problem by sharing:
“In 2006 I was brutally raped by a member of the United States Coast Guard. I was locked up in a closet for reporting the rape. I was blamed, shamed, and eventually lost my career.”
In 2006 I was brutally raped by a member of the United States Coast Guard. I was locked up in a closet for reporting the rape. I was blamed, shamed, and eventually lost my career.
— Panayiota Bertzikis (@panayiotab) June 25, 2020
Thankfully, some of the females who were victims of sexual abuse while on duty shared their cases weren’t neglected.
In my almost 4 years in the navy, I’ve been sexually assaulted 1 time and sexually harassed about 6 times… we very time I spoke up to anyone that was higher then me they helped so much. I was blessed. Not all females are.. #IAMVANESSAGUILLEN
— kim 🦒 (@kimmmbeerrly) June 24, 2020
However, the fact sheet states that less than half of the victims “felt well supported by their chain of command”.
— court god (@CourtneyJudd_) July 2, 2020
The military veteran Betsy Schoeller was slammed for commenting that this was ‘the price for admission’ for women in the army. After posting the now-deleted comment, Schoeller was severely criticized for being a part of the problem.