A devoted Army National Guard soldier killed herself after she reported being sexually assaulted on the job — but the military branch did nothing to help, according to her mom.
“To think that that’s what took her life — that’s what broke her,” Debbie Robinson, the mother of officer Morgan Robinson, told CBS Evening News .
“They wanted her body. And they took her soul.”
The horror that led to Morgan Robinson’s suicide began two years earlier, when one of her supervisors allegedly sexually assaulted and harrassed her multiple times while they were stationed in Kuwait, according to CBS, which is investigating failures by the US military to address sex crimes internally.
But when Morgan reported the attacks, higher-ups did “nothing” to punish the supervisor or protect her, according to her mother. “She got nothing,” Debbie said.
While on the same deployment, Robinson was then sent to Afghanistan, where multiple soldiers allegedly gang-raped her, CBS reports. This time, she was too scared and disillusioned by the system to report it — and four months later, she committed suicide.
The Army began an investigation into her untimely death and later handed Debbie a report — but much of it was redacted.
The parts that weren’t blacked out said: “Sergeant Robinson suffered sexual, physical, and psychological trauma while deployed. The sequel of this trauma was a factor in her death,” according to CBS.
“I just didn’t understand how they could actually stand there and look me in the eyes, and hand that to me,” the mom said.
She believes the Army is responsible for Morgan’s death — for failing to properly investigate her daughter’s first sexual assault claim and “handle what happened.”
“They can’t police their self. How can you investigate yourself? You can’t,” Debbie said, adding there should be an outside agency that probes sexual assaults within the Army.
Eight months after her death, the officer who allegedly attacked her in Kuwait was finally given a written reprimand — which Debbie said is too little, too late.
“[It was] a job that she loved. It was for her country,” she said of her daughter, who joined the Army in 2010. “Everything just plays over and over and over in [my] head, thinking, ‘Did I miss something? Could I have done something?’”
The Army said in a statement that officers conducted a full investigation into the sexual assault report and took “appropriate” action against the supervisor in question.
“The department remains committed to our goals of ending sexual assault in the military, providing the highest quality response to service members and holding offenders appropriately accountable,” the Army’s principal policy adviser Elizabeth Van Winkle said.
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