Disturbing photos have emerged online showing a female RAF recruit being subjected to a sexually charged ‘initiation ritual’.
Rebecca Crookshank from North London was only 21 years old at the time the photos were taken, which show her being grabbed and thrown around by men who wore nothing but rubber gloves covering their genitals.
A video also shows men speaking to Rebecca inappropriately and mooning her upon arrival. In 2001 she was the only female amongst a group of 28 men at the RAF Mount Alice.
Rebecca, now aged 36, decided to release the images and footage to show the world the extent of abuse and harassment that female candidates have to endure in the military.
Speaking about her time serving in the RAF, which she did for four years after joining at the age of 17, Rebecca said:
It was the beginning of a dark time.
Rebecca also described how corporals would have sex with young female trainees, which was “scary” for the girls who were as young as 16:
I felt violated, it was inappropriate.
I was told that if I kept quiet, I could have a ride on a Tornado F3 plane. I was young, and I accepted it.
However, the abuse was too much and it didn’t take long for Rebecca to leave the RAF for good. Now she dedicates her time to fighting sexual abuse in the military, using her own experience as an example.
The abhorrent behaviour I experienced in 2001 may be a long time ago to some but it has had a huge impact on my life and I will not be silenced.
If one other human being reads my story and finds the courage to speak out about their personal experience of abuse in the military or any workplace for that matter, then together we can move closer to a change in behaviour, zero tolerance of injustice, a positive shift in the face of adversity.
Sexual abuse and female discrimination in the army and military forces is absolutely rife and unfortunately is something that is often ignored or brushed under the carpet. Hats off to Rebecca for being brave enough to release these images and the footage in order to highlight that something needs to be done to put a stop to such abhorrent behaviour. Hopefully it helps to prevent more incidents like this from occurring.