Survivor of sexual violence at Lackland Air Force Base speaks out
The sexual abuse scandal at Lackland Air Force Base continues to unfold in the three years since the first survivor came forward. The scope of the controversy -- in which 62 trainees have been identified as victims of assault by 32 training instructors -- was called “stunning” by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh as he testified before a congressional panel on the abuse in January.
On Wednesday, Virginia Messick, a survivor of sexual violence at Lackland, has come forward to speak publicly about what she endured at the hands of her instructor. As The New York Times reports:
After her Air Force training instructor raped Virginia Messick, a young recruit, he told her it was fun and they should do it again, she remembers. Then he threw her clothes at her and ordered her to take a shower.
Ms. Messick was unable to move, cry or scream. She was a 19-year-old from rural Florida, in her fifth week of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, and she had just been assaulted by the man the Air Force had entrusted with her life.