Healing From Emotional Abuse: Military Sexual Trauma Movement: with Ret. General Robert D. Shadley and Camilla Vance Shadley

Can you heal from abuse?  What do I do after leaving my narcissist? What does a healthy relationship look like? These concerns cross the minds of over 20 people every minute; over 28,800 people every day.  And the sad fact is, we still don’t talk about it enough.  Healing from Emotional Abuse isn’t a bandaid situation.  But it doesn’t have to take years either. The lives of millions of other survivors around the worlds have been impacted by their narcissist.  Yours doesn’t have to.  To show you how to live a free, confident and peaceful life, your host and Founder of the Healing From Emotional Abuse Philosophy, Marissa F. Cohen.

Marissa: Welcome back to Healing From Emotional Abuse. Today, I know that I’ve talked about them before on previous podcast episodes. And I’m really, really excited to invite Retired Army Major General Robert D. Shadley, author of, The Game: Unraveling a Military Sex Scandal. He did two tours in Iraq and Vietnam, over 33 years of active duty service, followed by 10 years working with the government as a contractor with the SHARP program. And his beautiful champion wife, Camilla Vance Shadley, who’s also a nurse and daughter of Cyrus Vance, the former Secretary of State and Secretary of the Army. She’s a self proclaimed gray-haired lady who’s pissed off that this stuff is still happening. Welcome, guys. Thank you so much for being here today.

Camilla: Good morning.

Bob: Good morning.

Marissa: Awesome. So, Camilla, I know that you and I were talking about a little bit about your story and what happened to you. Do you mind sharing with us what you went through?

Camilla: No, I’d be delighted to. My story, for me is important because of what it suggests are the issues still going on in the military. So I was married to my late husband, Brigadier General William R. Holmes, and we were assigned down at Fort Belvoir, at the Pentagon. And we had a request for a huge cocktail party at the CG’s office at Fort Belvoir, which is about three doors down from us. At which would be attending all his staff, wives included, as well as the very key government contacts and businessmen going to the A-USA meeting that following Monday. So we went over and I went over with my twin sister, who, ironically was the only time she was on the base. It was a cocktail party on a lovely Sunday afternoon. And so we all just walked up the street. What was terrifying, as it began to unfold, was that he was an individual who was on his own home ground, and seemed to be very comfortable. Clearly, as I look back, had a very practiced behavior. Was confident that he could get away with it. And this is the four star for the Army Materiel Command, Leon Solomon. So what he did was, we walked in, and as was my nature at the time, General Solomon is a big guy. And I didn’t hug many people. But he was huggable. And I didn’t see him that often. So I went up and went in to give him a hug. And as I did, in the middle of a very crowded room in the center of the house, with everybody milling around us, I suddenly realized that his hands were on my breasts. I look into his face, and his face hasn’t changed at all, there is no sign of discomfort. There’s no sign of surprise. This guy knew how to look like nothing was happening. So if anybody happened to turn around, and look, they would have no idea what occurred. I was stunned. And all I can think of is what just happened, and how did I get here, and realized that I didn’t know. But I also realize that he didn’t seem to be worried about this, which made me even more scared. So I sort of backed out of where his hands were, and left to go find my husband to tell him I had just been assaulted by his boss. What made it even more upsetting to me is that in addition to feeling he was totally comfortable to do that, at this setting on the base, he goes and finds my identical twin sister, introduces himself to my twin sister, and proceeds to tell her, “Oh, you’re just like your twin sister, only your boobs are bigger.” Now, I got to tell you, there’s something wonderful about an arrogant son of a bitch who thinks that he can do this and then confirm the assault by going to find the twin sister and introduce himself in order to harass her. So that’s what occurred at the time. I did not know he did this to her. And when I found her about 20 minutes later, after I’d gone to find my husband. She was incredibly upset, came over and told me her story at which point I knew that it had not been a mistake. I have not done anything to create the problem. He was a calculated predator. He did exactly what he wanted to do. And then to be more audacious, he went and found my twin sister and did similar behaviors. What I wished had happened is that I hadn’t frozen but at the time, I was absolutely stunned. Now, I would say that if that happens to you, you get violent. You kick him in the balls, slug him in the face alert officers or people around you the behavior happened immediately. Because part of the issue is, well, you didn’t seem as if there was a problem. This time, if it happened, I would have dropped him to his knees. And then I would have explained exactly what happened to him. At the time, this was 1994, Clinton was president. Sexual assault and abuse and the White House wasn’t the problem. So there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I was going to get anybody that I could report to. And the only thing that was clear to me is it would totally destroy my husband’s career, which was a hard one and strong career. And I wasn’t willing to do that. So I begged my husband not to do anything or say anything, and that I would handle it. What was lucky for me, so we went 20 years. I didn’t say anything we moved on with our lives. What I do know is that absolutely ate my late husband up mentally. To feel that he was incapable of protecting me. That there was nothing he could do. And the betrayal of trust from his immediate superior to do that to him was something that literally ate him alive. And he had incredible rage for the next 20 years, because there was nothing that was possible at that point in the history of the army to protect us. So now 20 years later, sadly, my late husband died. And I have about to remarry again, and this is with Bob, this was in 2018. And my sister came up to Meet Bob. And Bob had the following story.

Bob: So Gracie, Camilla’s twin sister, and I meet, and I say, it’s so good to see you, again. Only this appears to be much nicer terms. And she said, What do you mean? I said, Well, the first time I met you was at a cocktail party, at General Solomon’s quarters for A-USA. I thought you were Camilla, since you’re identical. I walked up and started to give you a big hug. You pushed me away and said, “What the hell do you want?” and stormed away. I later found Camilla and she confirmed that yes, her twin sister was here. So following that discussion, we went back and reconstructed what had happened to Camilla and Grace at Solomon’s house, Joe Solomon’s house, that Sunday afternoon. And as a result of our conversation, Camilla and grace, were able to put together dates, times, places and individuals, the details of what happened. And from there, Camilla then, knowing the army system of reporting sexual misconduct claims, through the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program (SHARP) program, I referred Camilla to a victim advocate at Fort Bragg, who then took Camilla’s story and the following occurred.

Camila: So we were very lucky. We had a very strong victim advocate. We had to get a private lawyer because the lawyer who was supposed to be signed to us didn’t call back for over two weeks, and I said screw that are moving ahead. So we were with an outstanding lawyer, Sara Sykes, who now is actually working with the Safe Sport, which is the Olympic Sexual Assault Program. And to summarize quickly, we got General Solomon a reprimand for his career move. But what occurred as we went through the process was to me a clear indication of the lack of the military’s real interest in dealing with and helping victims. So I followed the process. And in my case, because of my father, being Secretary of Army, Deputy Secretary of Army, and Secretary of State, I knew that the moment I filed my complaint, there would be an interest. And sure enough, that complaint went all the way to the Chief of Staff of the Army, the moment I filed the complaint out of Fort Bragg. And they tracked that complaint the entire time. So this is what occurred. So I filed with the C-ID. What became clear almost immediately is that they had no other witnesses other than myself and Bob, who was there to verify our behavior changed. And they took no interest in doing an investigation of the General’s career, to see if there might be other victims who, like me, had been shut down, because at the time, there was nothing that could be done. So they took longer to give me a copy of my file than they did to investigate and technically make a decision. Which I thought was stunning since it didn’t seem to me it took a genius to figure out what happened. Then what occurred is they kept sending me what I would describe is aggressive, totally inappropriate missives to me, every time I asked for where is my file on this? Because I wanted a copy of it in order to determine that I would press on if the Army didn’t do anything. And each letter from my point of view, was aggressive, accusatory, blaming the victim, challenging me that I was trying to go outside the system. And if I did, so that I would fail to be able to get any kind of service. And basically, totally controlling the process and the information. The only difference was, every time they sent me a missive, I sent one back, so that there was a record of just how inappropriate the conversations were. By this time, it was four months after I had filed my complaint, they told me that was really speedy, I said, I thought that was a joke. The process was not getting him anywhere. And I decided, and I’d warn them in writing, that I wasn’t going to slow down on this, and that I would do everything within my needs to push this issue forward. Because if they were doing this to me, based on my family’s involvement in the military, I could only imagine what it was going to be like for anybody who was in the military, was beholden to the military for career and money. And the answer was, they were going to be screwed. So the next thing we decided to do is we then challenge the army and said that we want to see the Secretary of the Army and I sent CC’s of the copy all the way to the Secretary of Defense. And the Army sent me back a letter saying, “Hey, you know, if you really want to see Secretary of the Army that I can’t guarantee you when if ever, you’re going to get this reviewed.” I thought, well, that’s interesting. That’s basically putting a lot of pressure on me to actually want an answer. So we thought, all right, we won’t want to see the Secretary of the Army. But now you’ve said you can go faster. And I thought, here you go, this kind of, you know, abuse of power. So we had to press again. And this time, I decided I was tired of this. And so I was lucky enough to have access to Senator Gillibrand from New York, who we asked if she would take the case on proving to her at that point that the Army had done absolutely nothing. They hadn’t made a decision. They were totally unwilling, it appeared, to do anything to take Solomon to task, and that their explanation for, “The investigation,” was a joke. Senator Gillibrand talked to them, and suddenly the Army was going to have to explain to Senator Gillibrand, why they had done nothing. And suddenly on that date, we actually see because we tracked it back, that the decision was made that Solomon would in fact, be reprimanded. So there is absolute proof that they were willing to basically roll me down the road for as much time as they could, do nothing, and hope I went away. They miscalculated, because as I’ve now described myself, is I’m a gray haired lady and on pissed. So that’s where it started. So what became clear to me was that the army had a total strategy about how to deal with victims.

First of all, it was army was going to protect its predators, in this case, Solomon and a four star. Secondly, they were going to use every part of the process, which was all in writing, to be abusive, to be punitive, to be controlling, and to manipulate. And the third was, is that the army leadership was clearly not to be trusted. And it was a betrayal of trust. That I had been told to follow the system that justice would be done, and the answer was bullshit. Couldn’t have been further from the truth. So what became clear is that Bob, who is the only General Officer in the last 25 years, who’s actually initiated a command wide worldwide investigation, and then prosecution of sexual assault, which occurred in the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 1996, was already a long term advocate for these issues. And when I said that I wasn’t going to be silent. I said, I wasn’t going to feel helpless. I wasn’t going to be abused by a group of individuals who clearly had no interest in taking care of their soldiers, and that I felt that we needed to move forward. And when Amy Franck came to us with the value of the Never Alone Soldier, it was clear to us and our reviewing this, that as long as the army had a pattern of the last 25 years of controlling the information, the soldier, the process, and the outcome they had it made. It was perfect. You just spun around like a hamster on their wheel, and you never got out of it. And it worked just fine for them. But now, after 25 years, there are over half a million victims. And the truth is that the victims really have power, because it’s the victims who own their stories and own the data. And the Army no longer can control that. And Never Alone Soldier, from my point of view, was of incredible value to us. Because it’s a Grassroots Group of victims advocates, and those involved in the fight, who can now take control back that this is their story, and also has the experience to explain exactly how that system is so corrupt internally. So the value of the book, from my point of view, is that The Game at the time written by Bob not only specifically goes through the process that the Army did to try to destroy him. But it’s the identical process that they’re still using today. Identical. And the other issue that’s important is Bob documents in his book, that when the review was done and what happened at Aberdeen, although the senior people have been telling him all the time, you did a great job, keep going right behind you. That was bullshit. And when it actually got to Togo D. West, the Secretary of the Army, he has documented proof that he told the IG, that the report that was to be written was to be changed. And Bob was to be blamed, because the last thing the Army wanted to do was to say that this was an Army-wide problem. And that if they just shut it down with Bob, then it was just his fault. And that’s how it ended for the Army. We’ve contained it. We’ve basically strung up as to star we’re happy Congress is happy because they were pissed off that people were saying things were bad. And to this day, the Army’s report has in fact been doctored. So Bob, what do you see now?

Bob: Sadly, my beautiful bride is just one of 500,000 young men and women who have been victims of some form of sexual misconduct. Since we at Aberdeen uncovered this problem in 1996 and brought it to the attention of the army senior leadership. In the past few days, we’ve heard horrific stories coming out of the 416th Theater Engineering Command, a part of Lieutenant General Charles D. Lucky’s Command as the Chief of the US Army Reserve. Followed by the tragic murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood. Every day, we see more and more of the continued sexual abuse, sexual misconduct by soldiers and their leaders within the primarily Army and the other services. What we see today is we have a program in the Army called the SHARP — Sexual Harassment Assault and Response Prevention program. We have many dedicated young men and women, senior men and women who are serving as SHARP Program Manager, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, Victims and Special Victims Councils, that are working very hard to get justice for our victims. Many of them would prefer to be called survivors. And unfortunately, not all of the victims survive. Unfortunately, all of our SHARP professionals are not in commands where they have full command support. And part of the problem is that the military has allowed Commanders to pick and choose what parts of the SHARP program they want to enforce. And it’s inconsistent throughout the Army. Camilla mentioned Aberdeen Proving Ground. The parallels with Aberdeen are today beyond the serving because it’s exactly the same field crisis management plan that the Army used in 1996. The first steps were to protect the senior leaders, the three and four stars. They looked at and saying that an instance that And the press is isolated. And only to that command, we only focus on mid and lower grade leadership failures. The assumption that the victims are at fault is the 3rd Key thing. And it’s interesting to know when it comes to sexual misconduct, sexual assault, rape — It’s the only felony, where the victim is called the accuser. Just read the press, the press, the accuser said. And there’s constant feeling that there’s no change recording and military system And finally, the senior leaders are not involved in any way. I’ve been an adjunct instructor at the Army SHARP Academy since 2013. Speaking at over 48 classes. At a break in one of the classes, three Senior Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) in our Army asked me if they could talk to me. And they said, Sir, we know you talk to people in high places. Could you please pass on that perception in the ranks is that Senior Leaders, Officers and NCO’s get off. Lower ranking officers and NCO’s get hammered. Persons of color get hammered. Whites get off. And I said, What do you mean by hammered? And they pointed to the bars on the window, the old prison Leavenworth and said, if you go to jail, you got hammered. So on the 22nd of July 2015, I had an office call with Lieutenant General McConville, who’s now the Chief of Staff of the Army and told him that. And I said, this is the concern of your soldiers. And he just blew me off said, No, that can’t be true. And so I’m banging my head against the wall. As a result of situations digging back into the 2015 and before, soldiers quickly understand that there are about four lessons that they have learned by getting involved in reporting sexual misconduct.

Soldiers don’t trust their leaders, and the chain of command. There’s little to no command honesty. One speaks up at one’s own risk. And Amy Frank is a tremendous example of that. Amy has been fighting for victims for months and years. And she gets blamed. And retaliation works, as she pointed out. As Camilla pointed out, we were the last command to do an in-depth investigation, worldwide of all the potential victims in a command. And we were responsible 52,000 soldiers. The Army lesson learned at the senior levels from Aberdeen — 20 some years ago  — was that you don’t want to do in depth investigations, because you don’t want to find out how bad it is. In my case at Aberdeen, every training base in the Army had a problem. The Army could not admit that because the four star in charge of Training Command would have had to been relieved, not only was it going on in the Training Command, it was going on throughout the operational force. So that would have meant it commanding general of Forces Command, another four star would have had to been relieved . If you relieved to four star, subordinate commanders and whose next? The Chief of Staff of the Army would have had to been relieved. So the mantra of the military is these are isolated incident. The Senior Leaders aren’t involved. Now, the emphasis that Camilla pointed out with regard to senior leaders, they are the senior leaders in the military, in my humble opinion, are more interested in making the problem go away than they are solving the problem.

Marissa: Absolutely. I 100% agree with that.

Camilla: And I think the thing that’s interesting is to take a little closer look at the case that Amy Frank is involved in with Illinois.

Marissa: Do you mind expanding on that a little bit.

Bob: Amy is a Victim’s Advocate in the 416th Theatre Engineering Command, headquartered in Darien, Illinois, and she uncovered consistent lack of care for survivors. And a general total lack of command support and taking care of soldiers. She wrote, to not only the Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Command, Lieutenant General Charles D. Luckey, but she also wrote to General James McConville, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and also notified the Secretary of the Army back in 2019. Very little action was taken. No action, in fact, until after the 1st of this year. Now, they have they, the Army appointed investigating officer of three star general out of the Pentagon, the charge of the installation command. And so far 18 Field Grade Officers and Generals have had adverse findings documented against them. So what Amy uncovered within the 416th, and knowing her sources around the Army, this is not unique to just the 416th Theater Engineering Command in the US Army Reserve, it is appears to be rampant within the whole US Army Reserve Command, whose commander, Lieutenant General Luckey changed command on 30 June, 2020, and I’m not sure exactly when he retires. But it looks like he’s going to leave the Army as a three star general. And as far as I can tell, reading the documents, he put out very little guidance to his command from the period in 2017, until just a couple months ago. So I think that this goes back to the original comments by the three and NCO’s. Senior leaders get off until the Army gets serious, and starts holding some three and four star Generals and senior presidential appointees liable for poor leadership, we’re not going to get anywhere.

Camilla: But I think one of the things that becomes really clear is that there is a complete disconnect between the Army’s pitch of leader accountability in zero tolerance. And I guess what I would say is, yeah, I understand what zero tolerance is. Zero tolerance is that three stars and four stars get protected at all costs. Two, that collateral damage is totally acceptable. And three, that we’re really not interested. I don’t know any job anybody’s ever had, that allows for 25 years to do this bad a job systemically for this long and still get paid, much less have a job. And yet we as a country accept it, Congress doesn’t seem to have that much of a problem until recently. And I think therefore, the importance of people like Never Alone Soldiers really have to be a driving force. Now, the thing that makes me mad, is I do not know why it is the responsibility of the victims, to be the ones to insist on change.

Marissa: I agree the victim shouldn’t be the ones fighting the system. The system should be fighting for the victims. I mean, what good is our military if they’re hurting each other? You know? If part of our military is being abused and assaulted by other parts, what is the benefit of enlisting? What’s the benefit of fighting for our country because you’re fighting for our safety, but we’re not even fighting to keep you safe. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Bob: Marissa, there had been more victims of sexual misconduct in the Military since World War Two than there have been in combat.

Marissa: Wow.

Bob: That’s a damning indictment of the leadership and lack thereof. And there are a lot of reasons Camilla, and I have written some blogs. your listeners may want to go to our website, www.ShadleyEditions.com , And look under blogs. We have blogged several interesting, we think…

Camilla: We say, it’s fascinating.

Bob: People often say, “Well, what can we do to change this?” Okay, so you’ve got the problem. Here’s five things that Camilla and I think that the United States Military to do tonight.

    1. The prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault should be seen as a critical force protection issue. Now, the problem we have in my humble opinion, the commander say, “Oh, I’m a Warfighter. I focus on war-fighting and is prevention of sexual assault, a G1, personnel touchy feely issue.” Well, if you look at the role of the commander, if the commander gets a mission, he or she visualizes, describes and directs what they want done. And the things they direct — The number six item, is force protection. This is a force protection, ready to go issue, and it relates to national offense. I’ve made that known to many people. So this is not an issue that involves women’s rights, LGBTQ rights. It is important to the national defense that all of our soldiers feel safe, and they have positive command leadership.
    2. We ought to hold our senior leaders accountable. And this goes all the way up to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
    3. I think we ought to routinely publish a list in open source media of leaders punish for sexual harassment, or assault crimes. This can be either judicial, non judicial, or administrative.

Camilla: And could I just add to that. So for example, General Leon Solomon, in my case, is still sitting on honorary boards, which my husband was also honored enough to be asked to, on the Ordinance Core. Why is it that when I’ve asked them to review his standing with these honorary groups, which is the Hall of Fame for Ordinance, and there’s another one. What is it, Bob?

Bob: The Hall of Fame for the Army Material Command.

Camilla: And when I asked that, their suggestion was, oh, gosh, well, we’d love to do that. But we have to write a REG and I thought, Okay, this is pretty much idiot proof. Write two paragraphs. Nope. That took six months. Finally, this is what actually happened. The BG for the audience come in, came back and basically said, okay, Bob, well, you’re on the selection board. And this is how we’re going to resolve this. Now, you’ve been thrown off. Thanks for talking to us.

Marissa: That’s disgusting. So he was dismissed because you spoke up.

Bob: Right. I said at our next board meeting, I want to consider expelling General Solomon, from the Hall of Fame. Okay, so for that I was asked not to come back.

Camilla: And my point of view is, my husband suffered from this betrayal from his direct command. I am damned if I’m going to have my late husband’s name up there with a predator. The Army knows that and their explanation is they can’t write a two-fucking paragraph to put into their, “Zero Tolerance policy,” you know, command wide. That this is how they’re going to make sure that people don’t remain in? Give me a break. But this is a perfect example of what I would describe as the Cabal. Which is the senior leadership’s which each know the dirt on each other. Not everybody’s bad, but not everybody’s that impressive right now. And as a result, that’s the kind of behavior that’s going on. I hate to say it to the Army, but I’m not done yet.

Marissa: Good. I’m happy that you’re saying that.

Bob: I’m in the Hall of Fame and I object to being in there was a sexual predator who attacked my wife, and also ruined the life of a good friend of mine, Bill Holmes, who I knew before Camilla did. So I am personally offended by that.

4. The fourth thing would be to make proactive enforcement of sexual assault and harassment policies and its procedures a part of the officer and noncommissioned officer performance appraisal system. Have a block or something to check whether that officer or NCO supports the SHARP program, and specifically provides some details because that affects your promotion.

5. And lastly, we think that all felonies, such as sexual assault, murder, rape, armed robbery, those types of things need, to be prosecuted through a separate legal chain outside the chain of command. Because the chain of command has a vested interest in making sure how certain cases come out. Now, the commander’s can maintain through the UCMJ control over non-felony such as failure to repair, disrespect to an officer, cowardice in the face of the enemy, misappropriation of government property. Those strictly unique totally military things, but major felony should be tried and prosecuted through a separate chain away from the chain of command.

Camilla: Also, they ought to be prosecuted by real experts. It is not appropriate to think that these crimes of this seriousness should be taken on by just anybody who happens to have a bad luck of getting the that day. And if the police around the country are in fact got these special, you know, sexual violence teams, why on earth does it feel appropriate that the military with their appallingly terrible statistics, have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not a good idea to change?

Bob: At Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, several years ago, after a presentation, a Sergeant stood up and said, “Sir, I’ll tell you one G-D thing. If a young soldier comes to me and says they’ve been sexually assaulted, I’m taking them downtown, because I don’t trust my chain of command.” The other examples, a couple years ago, Camilla and I were with a group of 200 soldiers who lived in the barracks. And to a one, they said, if they saw sexual misconduct occurring, they would not report it because: A) the system will drag them down. And they’d be bogged down into a long process not being able to move on to other assignments. And, B) they don’t trust their chain of command to do anything about it. So again, what we’re seeing is soldiers are losing trust and their leadership. And I think that’s a real threat to national security. Because someday on a battlefield, a Lieutenant or Sergeant is going to stand up and say, follow me. And the troops are going to say, I don’t think so.

Marissa: That’s really jarring. And you’re completely right. It’s like self sabotage. We’re allowing the military, by not holding them accountable, and by them not holding each other accountable. We’re allowing them to sabotage themselves. And it’s putting everybody in danger, not only the people who are being assaulted, and of course, they deserve the most justice and the most support, but it’s it’s endangering the entire country. Because if if something like that were to happen, and the ranks don’t follow the Senior Leaders, it’s really it’s opening us up to a lot of danger and a lot of different ways.

Camilla: I think the term that actually probably is more indicative to me is Fratricide. that this isn’t just self sabotage, it is friendly-fire. You are going after your own. When is that going to be taken seriously and recognize just how destructive that is?

Marissa: That’s a really good term. It’s perfectly verbalized, I think. So Bob, you have this really powerful quote that’s in your book, and I can never quote it perfectly. But it was something like, you know, you’re more likely to be promoted if you rape somebody than if you report rape. Can you say that quote?

Bob: Well, the quote that I said, “I found out that it was more hazardous to your military career to report a sex scandal than it was to participate in one.”

Marissa: That’s what it was. That’s so powerful. And that, even though I don’t remember it word for word that stays with me, like it resonates with me, and it’s so awful.

Bob: There are a lot of good Commanders, Officers and Noncommissioned officers. It should not be that hard to weed out the predators and the problem makers. It’s just a lack of commitment on the part of our senior leaders to ensure that America’s sons and daughters get the positive leadership that they need. Now, I know, people will say, well, it was consensual and… but my feeling is that young people make bad mistakes. They need adult leadership. And I know several cases where a young man or woman made the wrong decision, and got involved in a relationship with a senior officer, or noncommissioned officer. In my mind as a senior officer noncommissioned officers fault. Because they’re adults, they should know better. Our young men and women need strong, positive, adult leadership. Not sexual predators, who say, Well, once you come into my office and take your clothes off, and let’s work on your next career advancement.

Marissa: The visual of that is disgusting, and horrifying and abusive. Is there any advice that you guys would give to a survivor that’s trying to get justice?

Camilla: I think that what I’ve learned is that groups like Never Alone, I think know have the potential for enormous power for two reasons. One, that the victims now actually can own their own case. So it’s no longer on the control of the military. And secondly, because I think that since the military’s strategy is to make each case unique and alone, your voices have great  power when you gather them together. And you’re able to show the patterns that we now see. That plus the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, I think, has shifted the sensitivity to recognize that what’s being said, is the truth. And I remind people, when they say, Oh, you know, you can’t tell whether he or she’s telling the truth. My comment back is, well, here’s what I know. Victims, generally between 96%-100%. Tell the truth. Predators lie 100%.

Marissa: Yes and if you listen to the other episodes of my podcast I always say 2% and 8% of  reports are false reports. And of all the people that are assaulted, only 5% actually make reports. So for that 2%, small percent of the 5% of the cases… I mean you should just be inclined to be a survivor the vast majority of survivors are telling the truth. Vast majority and like you said every single abuser, every single perpetrator and offender is lying. All of them. Thank you guys so much for being here you’re a wealth of knowledge  to the insider and info I appreciate al of your help and insight and I love working you guys I’m never alone so thank you so much for being here.

Bob: Marissa thank you and please let all of the young men and women who have not come forward let them know they are not alone. They are loved. They are appreciated, we understand and we’re not judgmental. We just want to get them the care. That was our journey 25 years ago, which is my objective today. As we want to find out who is victimized and what can we do to get them care and so that they can do the best job available, they can, to live a good life. Because we know that being victimized with sexual assault is absolutely shattering to both men and women survivors.

Camilla: And Marissa I have one other points for coming obviously that is for military held the information it was difficult for the victims to understand the pattern of abuse from commanders at whatever rank. Now I think that the victims talking to each other, we can begin actually putting together these patterns to more clearly go after those Commanders.

Marissa: Absolutely the more people that shares their story the more dots we can connect.

Camilla: That’s exactly right. And each story is incredibly powerful. And for the very first time that totally changes the discussion with the military and that’s why I think that never alone is going so powerful.

Marissa: I’m really excited that we are going to do with Never Alone Soldier. I think that its going to be a game changer for survivors, and I think that its going to be a big wake-up call for military Senior Leaders and Commanders, who are good people to give them the confidence and the resources to hold the ones who are not good accountable

Camilla: I totally agree

Bob: I totally agree

If you enjoyed this podcast, you have to check out www.MarissaFayeCohen.com/Private-Coaching. Marissa would love to develop a made-for-you healing plan to heal from emotional abuse. She does all the work, and you just show up. Stop feeling stuck, alone, and hurt, and live a free, confident, and peaceful life.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the Healing From Emotional Abuse podcast, and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/marissafcohen, and instagram @Marissa.Faye.Cohen. We’d love to see you there!

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