#MeToo in the Military, MJ Hegar
When MJ Hegar’s attacker turned himself in for sexual assault, military leadership told her they would “take care of it.” Hegar remembers the moment her attacker was given a prestigious award anyway.
MJ HEGAR: When I became a pilot, at my first unit, there were no other female aviators at all. There was an attempt by some people to sexualize me because I was a woman. I myself was sexually assaulted. I actually didn't report it. My attacker reported himself a couple of hours later out of guilt. So there was no question of a he said, she said. I mean, they knew. They said, we know what happened, because he admitted it. So trust us. We're going to take care of this. And I said, OK, I trust you. You're going to take care of it.
So I'm sitting at an awards ceremony with my boss, and my attacker was called up front and given an award. I was so disgusted that I couldn't even stay at the ceremony. I turned and looked at my commander, and he looked at me, and he went, I know. When you look at a person, not just a woman, as an equal, and you find out something like that's happened to her, you want just as much as she does to have that person prosecuted. Maybe that is where part of the problem is. It is a leadership issue.