Guilty Until Proven Guilty


I have just finished reading Brigid’s statements.  I have seen them before, but reading them is hard for me…because I love her so much…and I understand all too well the suffering.

Criminals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Guilty beyond a resonable doubt.  In the military, those guilty of crimes relating to rape, harrassment and torture, are the one’s who have been “falsley accused.”  They remain the “innocent victims” long after they are proven to be guilty.

Those of us who refuse to take it any more.  Those of us who stand up, either during the incident or after the incident, we are the one’s who are prosecuted and persecuted.  They, the military and their leaders, want us to be responsible for THEIR actions or their FAILURES to act.

“You smiled or you were nice becomes – you asked for it.”

“You were there, either alone or with others, – you asked for it.”

“You were stronger or you were weaker – you asked for it.”

There are a hundred reasons that “you asked for it” but there is never a single statement that your abuser was wrong.

Then they use it against you.  They use your desire to be a good soldier, a good leader, a good friend and a good person against you.  Don’t rock the boat, don’t ruin a career, don’t bring down the unit.

“Hey, whatever happens in the Army stays in the Army.”

Really – whatever happens in the Army stays in the Army.  Funny because those nightmares, the paranoia, the constant watching over my shoulder…those didn’t end when I left the Army.  They just got worse.

The guilt, the shame, the anger….those got worse.

The chest pain, the bowel problems, the migraines, the shoulder pain, the nausea and vomiting didn’t go away when I left the Army.  They come and go at given intervals without warning and without relief. 

Somehow the crime of rape and the crime of torture is the only crime where you are presumed a liar – even if it is proven that you are truthful. 

How many counseling statements have I seen that look like Brigids?  How many of those counseling statements do I have?  Statements that ultimately say that I am the one responsible for what was done to me.  Like we can rape ourselves, or beat ourselves, or pin ourselves.

Over and over again we survivors say to one another…”THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!  YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!”  We survivors know the truth…we are not to blame in this whole screwed up mess.

Still, we know the truth of our innocence, but why do we have to keep trying to convince others?  Why do we have to convince the very people who are supposed to help us that we are innocent!  Why do we have to be cross-examined over and over again like we are some perp in a police interrogation room?

Nobody asks the one who did this questions.  Nobody puts him in a chair in a small room and asks him the same questions over and over again.  “Why did you do that?”  “Why did you do that?”  “Why did you do that!!!!!!!!”

Nobody looks for them to change their story.  Nobody questions them when something is hazy or not completely linear in their story. 

“Why did you pick up the stick?”….”Why did you hold still while he beat you?”

“Why did you pin her up against your desk?”….”Why didn’t you tell?”

“Why did you rape her?”….”Why did you let him rape you.”

All of the questions come from column two…and they are all addressed to the victim! 

I just want to know when is someone going to stop asking the victims and start asking the perpetrators?  I would like some answers too – you know!

Joan

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “Guilty Until Proven Guilty”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    Joan,

    You go girl, tell it like it is! WOW!

    love ya man!
    Brigid

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: