The Student Room Group

Friend phoned me up in tears saying she was sexually assaulted in the army *trigger*

So today my friend phoned me up in tears crying telling me she was sexually assaulted and worse by her superior in the army recently I am pleading her to report it but she won't do it and says she'd rather forget about it, she won't report it because she's been threatened if she tells anyone she will be thrown out the army, any ideas to convince her to actually report it?
Original post by Anonymous
So today my friend phoned me up in tears crying telling me she was sexually assaulted and worse by her superior in the army recently I am pleading her to report it but she won't do it and says she'd rather forget about it, she won't report it because she's been threatened if she tells anyone she will be thrown out the army, any ideas to convince her to actually report it?

Which country did this happen in?

If it's Britain, she quite clearly and obviously won't be thrown out of the Army. That's ridiculous.

The problem you have is, unless you know any details, you can't really report it secondhand (apart from the fact she doesn't want you to). If you don't know the who, when or where, it's going to be very very tough. Realistically, the only person who can do anything is her. If you know where she is based, you could think about calling the padre - but I would be hesitant to do anything off your own back if you don't know the actual facts of what has occurred.
Original post by Anonymous
So today my friend phoned me up in tears crying telling me she was sexually assaulted and worse by her superior in the army recently I am pleading her to report it but she won't do it and says she'd rather forget about it, she won't report it because she's been threatened if she tells anyone she will be thrown out the army, any ideas to convince her to actually report it?


Hi there.

Sorry to hear about your friend. :frown: Try to reassure her and let her know that you're there for her but be careful not to be forceful in making her report it. Instead sensitively encourage her to report it and perhaps research what support is available for her and offer to give her this info.

As @Trinculo says above it'd be difficult for you to report it without her so there's nothing more you can do other than the above.

Best wishes. :smile:
How long is left to run on your friend's armed forces contract?
Is she from a military family?
Is she aware of theindependent assistance available from The Centre For Military Justice?

The military justice system has its own internal police and court systems that are frequently subject to fierce criticisms in relation to allegations of sex crimes, bullying or harassment.
Sexual assaults can also be reported to civilian authorities but in practice are often routinely passed on to the military for investigation.
So many servicewomen do not feel able to report the harassment and sexual violence that they have experienced at work.
Often their fears for their career prospects and sometimes physical safety are well founded.

In 1987, an MP gave a famous speech in parliament about widespread intimidation and bullying within the armed forces.
The speech is mostly remembered for these few quotes: “The human costs are heavy”, "Such an atmosphere of intimidation means that few soldiers are willing to complain and even fewer to give evidence" and " I say that we only see the tip of the iceberg and why I believe that the problem is far larger than it appears to be at present".
Serving soldiers had sent him letters about their experiences, careful to remain anonymous due to fearing harsh reprisals for speaking out.

In 2000, an EOCR report recommended changes to “the culture of the Services which acts to dissuade serving women from making complaints of harassment for fear of displaying weakness, demoralising the team structure or damaging her own or another's career.”
Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement was a 30 year old Royal Military Police officer who had accused two male colleagues of raping her.
She took her own life in 2011 at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire.
The Royal Military Police’s Special Investigations Branch investigated the rape allegations but no charges were ever brought.
One year later a letter written by Major General John Lorimer stated that every female officer his “Comd Sgt Maj” had spoken to claimed to have been the subject of unwanted sexual attention from male members of the military.
Reply 4
There's plenty of options for her to speak with someone about this: the base's Personnel Support staff, the medical centre, military police, the duty officer, and there's usually a women's representative who can assist.

This is from the British Army website, if you pass it on to her:

SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centres)

Provides services to victims/survivors of rape or sexual assault regardless of whether the survivor/victim chooses to report the offence
to the police or not.
Website: thesurvivorstrust.org
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 01788 550554
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Trinculo
Which country did this happen in?

If it's Britain, she quite clearly and obviously won't be thrown out of the Army. That's ridiculous.

The problem you have is, unless you know any details, you can't really report it secondhand (apart from the fact she doesn't want you to). If you don't know the who, when or where, it's going to be very very tough. Realistically, the only person who can do anything is her. If you know where she is based, you could think about calling the padre - but I would be hesitant to do anything off your own back if you don't know the actual facts of what has occurred.

It is the UK
Original post by londonmyst
How long is left to run on your friend's armed forces contract?
Is she from a military family?
Is she aware of theindependent assistance available from The Centre For Military Justice?

The military justice system has its own internal police and court systems that are frequently subject to fierce criticisms in relation to allegations of sex crimes, bullying or harassment.
Sexual assaults can also be reported to civilian authorities but in practice are often routinely passed on to the military for investigation.
So many servicewomen do not feel able to report the harassment and sexual violence that they have experienced at work.
Often their fears for their career prospects and sometimes physical safety are well founded.

In 1987, an MP gave a famous speech in parliament about widespread intimidation and bullying within the armed forces.
The speech is mostly remembered for these few quotes: “The human costs are heavy”, "Such an atmosphere of intimidation means that few soldiers are willing to complain and even fewer to give evidence" and " I say that we only see the tip of the iceberg and why I believe that the problem is far larger than it appears to be at present".
Serving soldiers had sent him letters about their experiences, careful to remain anonymous due to fearing harsh reprisals for speaking out.

In 2000, an EOCR report recommended changes to “the culture of the Services which acts to dissuade serving women from making complaints of harassment for fear of displaying weakness, demoralising the team structure or damaging her own or another's career.”
Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement was a 30 year old Royal Military Police officer who had accused two male colleagues of raping her.
She took her own life in 2011 at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire.
The Royal Military Police’s Special Investigations Branch investigated the rape allegations but no charges were ever brought.
One year later a letter written by Major General John Lorimer stated that every female officer his “Comd Sgt Maj” had spoken to claimed to have been the subject of unwanted sexual attention from male members of the military.


She's got 6 months left, no one else in her family is or has been in the military

Quick Reply

Latest