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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Nashua Telegraph: Hudson veteran speaks about her own sex assault in the military, wants victims to know they are not alone

May 21, 2013
In The News

HUDSON – Toward the end of her 20-year career, U.S. Army veteran Judy Atwood-Bell remembers how it became too painful for her to don her military uniform. Wearing the clothing brought back so many painful memories.

“It made me feel like I was being raped,” she said.

Atwood-Bell, 51, who now lives in Hudson, was sexually assaulted when she was 19 in the early 1980s. She said he was a Green Beret she met at a club. He invited her back to his barracks room at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. She said no to his advances, but that didn’t change what happened next.

“He was in Special Forces,” she said. “I feared for my life.”

Atwood-Bell’s story is similar to many women placed into such terrifying, life-altering scenarios while serving in the military. Sitting comfortably in her home, with the issue of military sexual assault playing out on a national scale with more allegations against military officials coming to light and pending legislation moving forward in Congress, Atwood-Bell refers to her experience as a “situation.”

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