Survivor of military sexual assault speaks out 30 years later - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Survivor of military sexual assault speaks out 30 years later

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JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) -

The United States is facing an epidemic of sexual assaults in the armed forces, according to lawmakers and top members of our military.

Currently, the Armed Service Committee is considering seven different bills to address sexual assault in the military.

Lawmakers says the military justice system has failed and that victims are afraid to come forward.

In fact, the Pentagon recently estimated that 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year.

Locally, there are currently more than 1,000 veterans receiving military sexual trauma services at Mountain Home in Johnson City.

News Channel 11 is in your corner on this issue.

Melissa Hipolit talked to a local military sex abuse survivor about the crisis.

Sandra Gruber said she was assaulted by her Executive Officer while in the Marine Corps more than 30 years ago, and the military did not believe her.

Gruber said it is about time that this country starts addressing the issue.

"I think the thing that bothered me so much is...they were supposed to take care of me...and they didn't," said Gruber.

There are services available to veterans in this region who are survivors of military sexual assaults.

The VA Medical Center has a large variety of options available to mena and women through its Military Sexual Trauma program.

That is where survivors can talk to professionals like Doctor Glenda Short who is the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator on the Mountain Home campus.

"I'm really sorry that all of this has ever happened to anyone...and none of it should happen to anyone...that's from the heart...and that's the truth," said Short.

Here are some websites where you can learn more about those services.

Copyright 2013 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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