As a past victim of sexual assault during my service in the United States Air Force, I have started a campaign called A Black Rose: Campaign for Awareness. Our focus is to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault, harassment, abuse, stalking, etc. faced by serving members of our armed forces. Our philosophy is that the men and women who serve our nation should not have to worry about being assaulted by their fellow servicemen and women. We invite service members and veterans to request a rose in their honor that represents their trauma and quest for recovery. We hope to put a story to every statistic and make this issue impossible to ignore.
As the family and friends of veterans, you stood beside them when they volunteered to serve our country. You recognize that they have faced countless battles in and out of wars as they played pivotal roles in the safety of our Nation, and continue to play a role in their families and the community.
As soldiers, sailors, and airmen they supported their units, squadrons, and commands. They continue to volunteer and support each other, and we know that you understand the sacrifices they have made for you and their fellow countrymen.
The VA has reported over 500,000 veterans suffering from Military Sexual Trauma. At this time, it is estimated that 1 out of every 3 women in the military is raped, sexually abused or harassed by their own peers. Even the people that have promised to keep them safe have turned on them. We have 1.8 million female veterans across our nation, most of them returning with major physical and mental trauma. The challenge is to offer services to women that are accessible, gender-responsive, and trauma-informed at all locations. The Black Rose Awareness Campaign is working hard to serve all Veterans from all eras, branches of service, and those in uniform today.
During this campaign to educate our country of what terrible crimes are happening in our military, we are reaching out to the family and friends of our veterans and military personnel and asking for your support.