The heartbroken mother of a soldier, who killed herself after allegedly being sexually assaulted and gang raped by colleagues, said it was the military’s failure to handle her daughter’s case that ultimately led to her death.
Army National Guard Staff Sgt Morgan Robinson died by suicide in August 2018 at the age of 29, two years after she was allegedly sexually assaulted in Kuwait.
According to a CBS investigation, Morgan had been in the Army National Guard for six years when she was sent on her first deployment to Kuwait in 2016.
Her mother, Debbie Robinson, revealed that while in Kuwait her daughter ‘was sexually assaulted and continually harassed by one of her superiors’.
Debbie Robinson (left), the heartbroken mother of Army National Guard Staff Sgt Morgan Robinson (right), who killed herself after allegedly being sexually assaulted and gang raped by colleagues, said it was the military’s failure to handle her daughter’s case that led to her death
Debbie said her daughter immediately reported the assault but in the end she ‘got nothing’.
Morgan, a mother of one who was engaged to be married, was on the same deployment when she was sent to Afghanistan.
While there Morgan was sexually assaulted again, but this time multiple soldiers allegedly gang raped her.
Debbie told CBS that her daughter was ‘very scared’ to report the alleged attack ‘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 said that she’s telling her daughter’s story because she wants people to know that Morgan was serving her a country that she loved.
‘And to think that that’s what took her life. That’s what broke her,’ she said. ‘They wanted her body. And they took her soul.’
According to Debbie, the Army did launch an investigation into Morgan’s death.
The Army said in a statement that they conducted a full investigation and took appropriate action against the reported perpetrator. That action was in the form of a written reprimand against the officer who assaulted Morgan left and right)
Reports of military sexual assaults jumped by 13 per cent in 2018, the same year Morgan (left) took her life
She said once it was concluded they gave her a heavily redacted copy of the investigation.
In the unredacted pages of the report, one page says: ‘Sergeant Robinson suffered sexual, physical, and psychological trauma while deployed. The sequela of this trauma was a factor in her death.’
When CBS asked Debbie what she believed led to hear daughter’s death, she said: ‘The military. The way they did not handle what happened.’
But the Army said in a statement that they conducted a full investigation and took appropriate action against the reported perpetrator.
That action was in the form of a written reprimand against the officer who assaulted Morgan in Kuwait.
Reports of military sexual assaults jumped by 13 per cent in 2018, the same year Morgan took her life.
But an anonymous survey of service members released in May 2019 suggested the problem is vastly larger.
According to the Pentagon’s 2020 report (pictured), there were 491 reports of rape in 2019 from service members
The survey results found that more than 20,000 service members said they experienced some type of sexual assault, but only a third of those filed a formal report. The survey number is about 37 per cent higher than in 2016, when one was last done.
According to the survey, young and junior enlisted women between 17 and 20 were most likely to experience sexual assault.
In the vast majority of the cases the alleged perpetrator was a military man, often near the same rank as the victim and usually someone she knows.
According to the survey, 21 per cent of the women who said they reported a sexual assault believed that they suffered some type of retaliation aimed at stopping them from making a complaint.
The Army saw a spike of more than 18 per cent in the number of sexual assault reports filed in 2018. The Marine Corps had the largest jump, at 23 per cent, while the Navy saw a 7 per cent increase and the Air Force was up by about 4 per cent.
The Pentagon releases a report every year on the number of sexual assaults reported by troops and in the 2019 annual report, the number of sexual assault reports received went up by three per cent, compared to 2018.
According to the report, there were 6,236 reports of sexual assault in 2019 from service members, up from 6,053 in 2018.
‘One of our prevention efforts over the past year focused on preparing leaders at all levels to better reach our youngest Service members who are most at risk,’ said Dr Nate Galbreath, the acting director of the DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
‘Helping our newest enlisted leaders and supervisors create healthy unit climates will benefit our military and all those who serve,’ he added.
If you or someone you know are in a crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).