Air Force Charges Victim in Her Own Rape

This news item made my stomach turn: Cassandra Hernandez, a female Air Force airman was raped, reported her attack and then subsequently became a court-martial defendant, herself.
The story goes down like this: Hernandez was at a party, where she was drinking. She says that three male airman raped her. She went to the hospital and filed a report accusing her attackers. Due to stress and harsh interrogation tactics by the Air Force, she eventually refused to testify against the airmen.
The Air Force then charged her with underage drinking (of which she admits to being guilty, but that’s hardly the point, now is it?) and, along with her three attackers, “indecent acts.” I had a hell of a lot of trouble finding an official definition for “indecent acts,” and the best one I came up with is a “form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is not only grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, but tends to excite lust and deprave the morals with respect to sexual relations.” Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the basic translation seems to be “a sexual act, particularly one that is not generally accepted in society, such as sex with multiple partners.”
So. The woman was raped. By three men. She reported her rape. She was harassed by her superiors, to the point where she became too afraid to testify. The Air Force took this as meaning that the sex was therefore consensual (which isn’t what it means at all), and charged her in the case of her own rape. If she loses her case, she could be publicly registered as a sex offender.
Sounds like it couldn’t get any worse, right? But it does. How? The three alleged attackers were offered sexual assault immunity to testify against Hernandez on the indecent acts charge. Having at least half a brain cell among them, they accepted.
Hernandez is writing to her congresspeople and her Governor, Rick Perry, in a desperate plea to end this madness. Once you finish throwing up, crying, breaking things, etc., I strongly suggest that you write, too.
IMPORTANT CORRECTION: Apparently, the correct action to take is to write directly to YOUR congresspersons. You can find the information to write to your Representative here, and the information to write to your Senators here. It is a good idea to include one of the links to articles about the case, so that they know specifically what you are referring to.

Join the Conversation

Young Woman Giving the Bird

I Annotated This Facebook Message from a Troll

Last weekend, I received a nasty Facebook message from a person with zero friends who created their account the day of Trump’s inauguration. I could have responded to this person via Facebook but instead, I decided to take a cue from NPR and annotate this troll’s message in hopes of dispelling common myths and shedding light on the abuse and harassment women of color face on the internet every day.  

Last weekend, I received a nasty Facebook message from a person with zero friends who created their account the day of Trump’s inauguration. I could have responded to this person via ...