My name is Ex LSgt Donna Rayment, I am a survivor of serious sexual assault by army colleagues.
The majority of British armed forces are professional, law abiding and have total respect for their fellow service personnel.
There is however a small minority who commit crimes such as rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, bullying, harassment, even murder. These crimes are committed against other service personnel and family.
These horrendous crimes are being ignored by the chain of command, British military justice system, the Ministry of Defence and leading military charities.
My assault occurred whilst on exercise by two other soldiers, who I knew.
I reported this crime, but it was instantly dismissed by my chain of command. I then faced bullying and harassment by several officers and warrant officers in my command.
I was classed by my commandeering officer as a trouble maker, with slanderous rumours being made about me within my chain of command at a new regiment I served in.
At a pre court hearing on my assault I was basically interrogated by the Services Prosecuting Authority. They ruled there was no evidence to charge my attackers.
I spent eight years trying to get some redress through the Army Redress Complaints Procedure, but this was a waste of time.
I was very shocked to discover that a senior military police officer officially stated that the Royal Military police were blocked in investigating my complaints of bullying/harassment by a senior officer from HQ Whitehall London. It was obvious that the Army would find themselves totally innocent. This is the British military justice system who act as judge jury and executioner. It is totally out of touch with British law and society in 2014.
There is a conflict of interest when the military investigates allegations of crimes against its employees. There is no public scrutiny or independence in the whole military justice process. There is a growing body of opinion that is calling for urgent changes to address these injustices. WAR has accused the Ministry of Defence of a ‘concerted cover-up’ I think we need to build a movement in the UK, like they are doing in America, demanding justice and protection for all victims of military violence.
If you have been a victim of rape, sexual assault, harassment, bullying, domestic violence connected to the British Military, I would like to state to you now,
“I believe you, I understand what you have been through and what you are going through, don’t let them get away with it, you have done nothing wrong. It is not your fault this happened to you, it’s the chain of command, the British military justice system that has allowed this to happen to you. And the predators who have committed these serious crimes on you need to feel what you are feeling at this moment“!
I have documents that can help you work out whether you have the symptoms of military rape Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I would be happy to forward to you.
Please get in touch with me at WAR and I promise you I will support you get the justice you deserve. Best wishes, Donna Rayment