A female Army National Guard soldier who served overseas for a number of years committed suicide after repeatedly being raped and sexually assaulted while on duty. Despite reporting the crimes that took place, her superiors did nothing to support or help their soldier.
At the young age of 29, Staff Sgt. Morgan Robinson took her own life in 2018. Two years before her suicide, she was sexually assaulted while being stationed in Kuwait. Four months before her death, her supposed comrades also gang-raped her in Afghanistan.
Robinson’s mother Debbie has finally spoken out about her opinion of the lack of accountability and failure to seek justice for the horrible suffering her daughter went through while serving her country.
Debbie insists that the failure to stop the torturous abuse her daughter experienced more than once ultimately robbed her of her life.
“To think that that’s what took her life — that’s what broke her. They wanted her body. And they took her soul,” Debbie told CBS investigative reporters.
According to her mother, ever since Morgan was young, she had already wanted to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. She finally did it in 2010, when she turned 21 and enlisted in the Army National Guard.
On her first deployment to the Middle East, the horror that Morgan experience was not in a battle with the foreign enemy, but with her own comrades. She “was sexually assaulted and continually harassed by one of her superiors.”
Although Morgan reported the multiple sexual assaults she had suffered under the hands of her superior, her chain of command did “nothing” to protect her from further assaults or punish her perpetrator, said her mother.
“She got nothing,” Debbie said.
While Morgan was engaged to get married and had a child back home, she was sent to Afghanistan on the same deployment.
Assaulted further in Afghanistan, she was gang-raped by a group of soldiers. Scared and traumatized to report this atrocious crime, Morgan committed suicide four months later.
Debbie had known that her daughter was “very scared” to report the gang rape “because they threatened her.”
“And number two, she knew that it wouldn’t go anywhere. Nothing happened in Kuwait with the sexual assault and the harassment, so why would they do something, you know, in Afghanistan?” Debbie said.
Debbie received a report from the Army when they finally investigated her daughter’s tragic death – but all the crucial details to all crimes committed by other members of the Army were blacked out.
Those sections that weren’t redacted read: “Sergeant Robinson suffered sexual, physical, and psychological trauma while deployed. The sequel of this trauma was a factor in her death.”
This redaction-riddled report shocked Debbie to her core that the military would be so shameless to hide what truly happened.
“I just didn’t understand how they could actually stand there and look me in the eyes, and hand that to me,” she said.
Debbie fully blames the leadership in the army and their failure to take her daughter’s sexual assault reports in Kuwait seriously and “handle what happened,” which then paved the way to the even more horrible incident that occurred in Afghanistan.
“And to think that that’s what took her life. That’s what broke her. They wanted her body. And they took her soul,” she added.
Debbie strongly believes that there is a need for an outside agency to investigate these claims and destroy what appears to be a code of silence that is protecting criminals.
“They can’t police their self. How can you investigate yourself? You can’t,” says Debbie.
Eight months after Morgan took her own life, the officer who attacked her in Kuwait finally received a written reprimand. Debbie decried that as a mere slap on the wrist that came way too late.
Debbie said that “[It was] a job that she loved. It was for her country. Everything just plays over and over and over in [my] head, thinking, ‘Did I miss something? Could I have done something?’”
To top it all off, the Army released a statement defending its disciplinary actions against the offending supervisor saying his punishment was “appropriate.” Thankfully, after the release of the report, the Secretary of the Army did acknowledge and say that they had failed Morgan Robinson.
According to CBS Evening News, Sec. Ryan D. McCarthy tweeted that “this topic has captivated the attention of America and our Army leaders and it is abundantly clear — we must do better.”
“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,” said U.S. Army principal policy adviser Elizabeth Van Winkle.
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