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Sexual Assault Victim Speaks Out

SHARP - Sexual harrassment assault response and preventionFort Campbell, KY – On July 2nd, 2014 in the barracks off Tennessee Avenue, Clarksville resident Dorlisha White was sexually assaulted and raped by an active duty soldier.

The Clarksville Police Department and District Attorney advised Dorlisha that they did not have jurisdiction on Fort Campbell and could not help. CID performed the initial investigation.

Dorlisha White
Dorlisha White

Upon reporting the incident to SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program), she was advised they didn’t handle sexual assault cases and referred her to the Community Action Agency who was also unable to assist her because the incident occurred on Fort Campbell.

In an effort to build awareness to keep other victims from undergoing her experiences and to spark reform, Dorlisha has decided to break the silence…

“You’re strong and will make it through this!” That’s just one of the many “comforting” things that are said when you have a moment of weakness that they can visually see.

While it sounds good even great from the person whom said it, please understand that the person receiving it doesn’t think the same; and if they did, the question that follows is “why do I have to be strong for someone else’s weakness.”

You are right I am strong in my OWN battles and regardless of what anyone thinks there is a huge difference between fighting a battle and FEELING alone than fighting a battle and BEING alone.

My “alleged” admitted to the sexual assault/rape and it took the military 272 days to generate a court date to prosecute him. Because no arrest was ever made, I have encountered him on 3 separate occasions in a public setting.

With the anguish from the rape still fresh and causing emotional turmoil, my only option was to drop everything and immediately leave the vicinity. To add insult to injury, due to the fact that I do not hold a military ID, as a civilian victim, I am not eligible for assistance with rent, lights, medications, and/or doctors’ appointments.

As a result of amendments to the military justice system nearly 2 years ago, the number of sexual assaults/abuse cases have increased significantly on military bases.

While some military officials view this trend favorable because it shows that people are finally starting to report the assaults, the growing concern should be “why there are so many sexual assault cases to begin with?” Victims are further degraded when their assailants only receive a lenient reprimands in the form of demotion, plea deals, or not being charged at all.

From my personal experience dealing with my rape and lack of support from the Fort Campbell Base, and the most recent press release of the Fort Hood Sexual Assault Victim Advocate 1st SGT admitting to his role in the prostitution ring making a deal to have the charges dropped because he admitted it is a true definition of the military standby of “NO SOLDIER LEFT BEHIND.”  As a civilian victim, I feel left for dead by the very military that was formed to protect me.”

To read more about her story visit http://www.reason4clarksville.com/another-victim-thoughts/

Richard Garrett
Richard Garretthttp://leaporg.net/
City Councilman Richard "Reason" Garrett has gained extensive business knowledge and negotiating skills as the Executive Director of the LEAP Organization.  LEAP Org provides youth development services.  As a licensed realtor for Keller Williams Realty, he is known for his tenacity, perseverance, honesty, and fairness.  A proud APSU alum, Richard graduated with Honors with a Bachelors in Public Management.
Richard is a former active duty Marine, father of 4, and a husband with strong ties to the community. He is a graduate of Leadership Clarksville and a member of Clarksville Rotary, Clarksville Area Ministerial Association, Chamber of Commerce, Clarksville Association of Realtors Public Relations & Charity Relations Committees, and Clarksville Community Partners Group.
For more information on Richard visit www.reason4clarksville.com. He can be contacted directly at 931-378-0500 or via email richard@reason4clarksville.com
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