On May 1, the Department of Defense released new information about a troubling subject: cases of sexual assault in the military. The data shows that 14,900 service members reported being sexually assaulted in 2016. That’s down from 20,300 reported cases in 2014. Despite the reduction in those numbers, the DoD isn’t confusing progress with success. The vast majority of cases go un-reported, with many victims choosing silence out of fear of retaliation. They struggle with PTSD, and sometimes, cannot find access to counseling services.
All of these issues are at the heart of a compelling new play now on stage at Geva Theatre Center. It’s called Other than Honorable, and it tells the story of Grace Rattigan. Now a private attorney, Grace served in the military in her 20s and was a victim of sexual assault. Even though she left active duty, her experiences continue to haunt her – she suffers from PTSD, nightmares, and the added stress of her husband being deployed to Afghanistan. But her life takes on new meaning when she accepts a military sexual assault case.
The play was 10 years in the making, but, of course, remains relevant today. We discuss Other than Honorable, and how to help victims of sexual assault.
- Jamie Pachino, playwright
- Jessiee Datino, actor who plays Grace Rattigan in Other than Honorable
- Kinga Kondor-Hine, licensed mental health counselor at the Veterans Outreach Center
- Pat Bishop, art therapist at the Veterans Outreach Center