Local veteran turned attorney: sharing story on sexual assault in military to make a change

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With the number of sexual assault reports rising, a local veteran is sharing her story with Local 4 News to shed light on the issue

Navy veteran Dorothy Meindok  is a sexual assault survivor. She’s using her voice as an attorney to seek justice for other victims through a local nonprofit. She has worked on more than 70 cases on sexual assault in the military, that includes 3 this year

“I had aspirations, I had all the sign-offs that you need in order to go to a program called BOOST.”

A program that would have sent her on the path of becoming a commissioned officer. Her goals were cut short when she was in a battle group during the Persian Gulf War. Only 19 years old, she was sexually assaulted.

“He wanted to put me in my place and so he thought he did, and for a long time i think he did, but it wasn’t my place, it was his,” shares Meindok. She says she had to face her abuser until they arrived back on land. Then she says she was honorably  discharged. 
After years of fighting trauma, she found solace in being a voice for others as an attorney.

“It has absolutely given me the drive.”

The Department of Defense established the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2005.
But numbers of sexual assault reports are still rising. In 2017, the DOD counted more than 6,000 reports
Meindok thinks there’s better solution. “The very best thing is to make certain that whatever entity and whatever process they put in place has accountability and oversight, congressional oversight,” the attorney shares.

When Meindok isn’t hitting the courthouse, she’s advocating by sharing her story to educate and to let others know they’re not alone.

“I will ask specific questions to try to bring them around to understanding that it’s ok to tell me and that we’re going to help them.”

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault in the military, visit Vet Center’s website here, WoVeN here, and you can reach Dorothy Meindok at dagmar@meindok.com.
 

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