I'm proud of my friend @MarthaMcSally for speaking up & sharing her painful story.Her voice is an important one & she is a courageous leader— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) April 23, 2018
Republican Martha McSally of Arizona accused her high school track coach of sexual harassment during an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
In the interview, McSally, the first American woman to fly in combat, alleged her high school track coach forced her to have sex with him while she was a minor.
McSally further explained she was not physically pushed to have sex with the coach at the time rather he “emotionally manipulated” her and used psychological strategies to keep her from talking of the alleged abuse.
The congresswoman alleged the abuse took place at an all-girls Catholic school in Riverdale during her senior year. She said she did not tell her family or friends about the abuse until years later although she informed two adults about the alleged harassment.
“It took a while for me to come to a place where I understood what the hell I had been through,” McSally told in the interview. “At the time, I was so afraid. I now understand — like many girls and boys who are abused by people in authority over them — there’s a lot of fear and manipulation and shame.”
The track coach was allegedly fired after one of the adults McSally confided informed the school’s principal of the incident.
The coach, Jack Dwyer, has denied the sexual harassment abuse allegations, claiming he resigned from the post at the school to pursue other career options.
“I believe she’s nuts. That girl is the most scheming woman I ever met,” he said.
This is not the first time McSally has raised her voice for sexual allegations. Previously, the congresswoman and Air Force veteran has spoken of the abuse faced by women in the U.S. military. In 2017, she was also a co-sponsor for a resolution that looked to battle sexual harassment in the chamber. The resolution required Congress members and their staff to participate in anti-harassment training.
McSally, however, has also been criticized for not speaking up when several members of the Republican party were accused of sexual harassment, including President Donald Trump-endorsed Roy Moore, who was accused of sexually harassing minors.
She also chose not to participate when several Democrat congresswomen wore black to support the #MeToo movement at Trump’s State of the Union address this year. Instead she opted to wear a red, blue and white dress in support of the U.S. military.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: United States Congress Website