Sexual Harassment and Rape Should Not be Allowed in the mIlitary at All

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What I am going to share with you now is a true story about sexual harassment and rape. It isn’t pretty, but there are far too many situations like this in the military.

I got very serious about this when I interviewed a Va Nurse who told me some stories of rape, and the aftermath, for my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

An airman who said her complaints of sexual harassment were ignored for months by Misawa Air Base command has finally secured a transfer to another duty station, Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs said in a statement.

“In accordance with her request, Airman First Class Sarah Figueroa was transferred to another duty location,” the statement said. PACAF did not disclose the new location to protect Figueroa’s personal information. PACAF wrote that it had also investigated the male airman who was harassing Airman 1st Class Figueroa, and that the commander took “appropriate action” after consulting with the legal office.

“The Air Force takes all allegation of interpersonal violence, to include bullying and sexual harassment, very seriously,” it added.

That did not appear to be the case in October when Airman 1st Class Figueroa took to Instagram to express her frustration with her command for disregarding complaints that a male airman had been stalking and harassing her for months.  

“Last week, I was followed by the airman who sexually harassed and I feared for my life,” she said in her Oct. 13 post. “I thought I was going to die and I prayed over and over again while I was driving.”

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass commented on the post, asking the airman to send her an email. Figueroa’s mother also spoke about her daughter’s desperate situation in a video interview posted to YouTube on Oct. 21.

Fatima Figueroa said the male airman was issued a no-contact order earlier this year (which is similar to a civilian restraining order), Figueroa said he has ignored the order and continued to follow Figueroa, making her feel scared for her life. 

The chain of command, military police, Equal Opportunity Office, and other authorities had not been helpful in resolving the situation, punishing the male airman, or helping Airman 1st Class Figueroa secure a transfer out of Misawa, Figueroa said at the time.

“This is a nightmare, this is a horror movie,” she said on YouTube in an interview with Kayla Rivera TV. “We shouldn’t be going through this. The only thing we’re asking is to transfer her out. That’s the only thing we want.”

Airman 1st Class Figueroa reported the initial harassment to military police and her chain of command. According to her mother, the Air Force investigated the case, decided it was a case of sexual harassment, and issued a no-contact order to the male airman.

However, since then, the male airman has parked next to Airman 1st Class Figueroa’s car, followed her, made more inappropriate comments towards her, and said hello to her “like nothing has happened,” her mother said.

Airman 1st Class Figueroa and her mother expressed frustration with base leadership. They said the commander claimed it was just a coincidence that the male airmen was following her ‘because it’s such a small base,’ they recalled him saying.

“She needs help. She needs to get out of there,” Fatima Figueroa said about her daughter in the YouTube interview. “Sarah should never have been placed in this predicament. Action should have been taken from the beginning.”

Now their request has finally been granted. On Oct. 29, Airman 1st Class Figueroa wrote on Instagram that she was given emergency orders to be transferred within 24 hours. She said her command expressed remorse for what happened.

“I just can’t believe it took this extreme of a measure for my chain of command to believe me,” she wrote. “On the way to the airport, my leadership shed tears in telling me they couldn’t believe it was true and that everyone felt horrible for thinking I was exaggerating.”

When asked if the Equal Opportunity Office, chain of command or military police at Misawa were being investigated for allegedly disregarding Airman 1st Class Figueroa’s complaints, PACAF wrote that there were no ongoing investigations on the matter.

“The Air Force’s investigative processes thoroughly address all persons and parties involved in incidents to ensure alleged victims and alleged perpetrators are protected under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” PACAF said. “In this case, helping agencies and the chain-of-command worked diligently to provide a solution for Airman First Class Figueroa.”

On Instagram on Oct. 29, Airman 1st Class Figueroa wrote that her leadership issued her a no-contact order detailing the places the male airman could not walk by, drive by, or be seen in unless he called leadership. The order also said he would have to call leadership any time he came across her and that he could not park his car next to any v “When I got this Order, I was angry and disappointed … I just kept looking at it in disbelief and wondering why this wasn’t given to me earlier,” Airman 1st Class Figueroa said. “I had just been notified that I was going to be transferred so it felt like too little too late until I was told this could last my entire military career to keep me safe.”

Still, she wrote that she saw the male airman’s car in her dormitory’s parking lot that night. She fled and said her leadership picked her up and drove her to the police station.

In one of her Instagram posts on Oct. 29, Airman First Class Figueroa wrote that she was “somewhere safe now,” but there are plenty of women in the military who are not. In her earlier posts, she compared her situation to that of Spc. Vanessa Guillén, a soldier who was sexually harassed and murdered by a fellow soldier in April.

Sorry for the negative story, but these these things need to be addressed.


So how are you doing? Have you ever been harassed? Did it leave a scar on you?

You are not alone. There are over 11,120 veterans on this site who have your back..

If it is too overwhelming for you still GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up on you until they know you are OK.

Do not take on this not so friendly world alone.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know about it.