NewsNational Politics


Former Arizonan, Navy veteran puts spotlight on sexual assault in the military

Posted: 2:54 PM, Mar 31, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-31 20:16:54-04
Allison Gill

Senator Martha McSally recently came forward with a personal revelation that she was raped by a commander while in the Air Force.

While her story isn't unique, it is once again putting the spotlight on sexual assault in the military.

ABC15 spoke with a veteran and former Arizonan who has a similar story.

Allison Gill says she attended NAU, but after running out of college money, decided to join the Navy at the age of 21.

RELATED: Sen. McSally says she was raped in Air Force by superior officer

"I was one of the first women in the nuclear program," Gill said. "So it was a little different for me in that there were about four women and 600 men."

Gill says while attending a party on base, someone drugged her. She says when she woke up the next morning, she realized she had been raped.

"There was a guy there and I said, 'I don't think I wanted this to happen,'" Gill said. "He actually just looked at me directly and said, 'Are you going to cry rape now?'"

She says when she went to report it to the higher-ups, it felt like she was being interrogated.

"He started asking me questions like, 'Were you drunk? What were you wearing? Were you flirting?'" Gill said.

She said she was told she could get in trouble for filing a false report.

"I could be kicked out of the military. I could lose rank. I could be charged with adultery because my rapist was married," Gill said.

So instead, she says, she stayed silent and ended up leaving the military two years later.

But in 2012, Gill shared her story in the award winning documentary "The Invisible War".

She says it wasn't until she watched the film, she realized she wasn't the only one who had experienced sexual assault followed by push back when trying to report it.

RELATED: Senator McSally backs push to combat sexual assault in the military

"That was probably one of the most vindicating and comforting, poignant times in my life," Gill said.

Gill says she believes members of congress should pass a bill to take the reporting process out of the hands of the commanders.

She now shares her story with others in hopes that they too, don't have to feel alone.

In 2017, over 6,000 military members reported being sexually assaulted, a 10 percent increase from 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

That data does not include the amount of sexual assaults that went unreported.