U.S. Senator, Former Air Force Pilot Martha McSally Says She Was Raped by Senior OfficerTop Stories

March 07, 2019 10:17
U.S. Senator, Former Air Force Pilot Martha McSally Says She Was Raped by Senior Officer

(Image source from: The Daily Beast)

The United States senator Martha McSally at a hearing on the sex assaults in the military has told that she was preyed upon and raped by a superior officer while in Air Force. She was the first female U.S. fighter pilot to fly in combat.

The Arizona Republican said she did not report the rape as she felt ashamed and confused, and distrusted the system, the BBC reported.

“I stayed silent for many years. But later in my career, as the military grappled with the scandals and their wholly inadequate responses, I felt the need to let some people know, I too was a survivor,” McSally told the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on Wednesday.

“I was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences was handled. I almost separated from the Air Force at 18 years of service over my despair. Like many victims, I felt like the system was raping me all over again,” McSally added.

Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York, the top-ranking Democrat on the committee, said she was “deeply affected by that testimony”.

Reports of sexual assaults across the United States military jumped nearly 10 percent in 2017.

McSally served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of colonel, before retiring in 2010. She served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected to Senate earlier this year. It is not the first time McSally has spoken about being a survivor of sexual abuse.

She has previously said she was sexually harassed while she was serving in the military. Earlier this year, while running for the Senate, she told the Wall Street Journal her high school athletic coach had pressured her into having sex with him when she was 17.

By Sowmya Sangam

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