The Marine who went viral after voicing her frustration with officials’ decision to retain a man she had reported for sexual misconduct has said that there is ‘misinformation’ being released to ‘discredit’ her story.
‘There is a lot of misinformation you will hear used to discredit me,’ she said in the statement. ‘This is a direct reflection of what happens when service members come forward with their story.’
‘I am not responsible for fixing what I did not break. My name is Dalina. I am not a martyr. I am a Sergeant in the Marines who has served honorably.’
Scroll down for videos
The woman – a Sergeant named Dalina – asserts that she is not a ‘martyr’ for taking to TikTok last week to ‘grieve’ and share her story
‘There is a lot of misinformation you will hear used to discredit me,’ she said in the statement
Dalina went viral last week after sharing her experience in a distressing video that prompted a response from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and an investigation from him and the Corps.
The service woman shared in a her statement that she has been forthcoming about the incident, which she said took place in October 2019 while the pair were deployed.
‘I reported my coworker for sexual misconduct, who was also a Uniformed Victim Advocate,’ she shared in the statement. ‘I had proof and witnesses.
‘That same night my Command confronted this marine and he admitted to what he had done. That next morning that same Marine was still the Platoon Sergeant holding formation while I hid in my room, ashamed of what had happened.’
Dalina said in a her statement that she has been forthcoming about the incident, which she said took place in October 2019 while the pair were deployed
Dalina said that she was met with silence as she inquired about what had happened with the coworker and the status of the Military Protective Order that was placed.
‘I found out through an E3 [Private First Class] who was not in my chain of command that the Marine was punished administratively, not court martialed,’ she said. ‘My chain of command never formally notified me what action they took against this Marine.’
‘Months had passed and I constantly asked my leadership for information, even at one-point cornering my Commanding Officer while he visited our post. I said clearly, “I think we need a better vetting system for Uniformed Victim Advocates. I do not want to be in the same unit as this Marine when we get back to the United States.”‘
Dalina learned on Feb. 18 that the Marine was retained based off the Commanding General’s decision. As she went home, she then decided to make the video
Dalina said that a month prior to coming back to the U.S., she learned that she and the Marine would be working in the same office. Dalina shared that she had to seek a transfer, getting moved to a unit that has ‘looked after and cared’ for her.’
‘In December, I was notified I would be able to testify at the Marine’s separations board,’ Daline shared. ‘I had to witness my old leadership come forward with recommendation letters for this Marine because he was a “hard worker.”‘
‘I had to hear things like, “he made a mistake and fell into temptation, but he could be a great leader.” The proceedings ended and a decision was made. He would be forced out, but receive an honorable discharge.’
Dalina learned on Feb. 18 that the Marine was retained based off the Commanding General’s decision. As she went home, she then decided to make the video.
‘I have been sexually assaulted in the Marine Corps, I have experienced Military Sexual Trauma throughout my entire time in service. I have connected with thousands of men and women who have dealt with Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome stemming from sexual assault and harassment while serving.’
The woman – named Dalina on TikTok and using the handle @gwotthot – claimed in the video that the Corp decided to retain the unidentified man, after initially deciding to honorably discharge him.
‘It went All the way up, across the board, everybody said they would not retain him,’ she said before adding that it was the Command General who decided to go against the majority.
‘And the f**king head honcho, the f**king CG with all of the proof and a f**king admission to guilt decided that they will retain him.’
The Marine declared while sobbing: ‘And this is exactly why f***ing females in the military f***ing kill themselves, this is exactly why nobody f***ing takes us seriously.’
The video has since been deleted but was seen by the U.S. Marine, who shared on Twitter that they had taken steps to make sure the Marine was safe.
‘We are aware of the video of the Marine in distress,’ they said on Twitter. ‘The Marine Corps takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. The Marine’s command @iimefmarines has taken action to ensure the Marine is safe.
They later added: ‘The current administrative separation process for the accused perpetrator mentioned in the video is ongoing. The Marine in the video is safe & has been afforded the opportunity to meet with senior representatives in her command.
‘The Marine Corps & the Nation expect the highest standards of conduct from Marines & Sailors. Those who do not uphold these standards will be held accountable in accordance with Marine Corps & @deptofdefense policy.’
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the video ‘deeply disturbing’ and told Military.com that he had requested more information from his staff.
Sec. Lloyd Austin said he would be looking at the allegations in the video
The video has since been deleted but was seen by the U.S. Marine, who shared on Twitter that they had taken steps to make sure the Marine was safe
‘We have to get the facts, we have to understand what just happened,’ Austin said. ‘Let me also say that I care about each and every one of our troops, and certainly I’m going to ask that her chain of command makes sure that someone is looking out after her needs and make sure that we’re taking care of her.’
Capt. Casey Littesy, a spokeswoman for the service, said that officials are ‘aware of the video and (are) gathering all the details of the situation.’
Capt. Angelica A. Sposato, a member of the Corps’ 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, told the New York Times the video ‘specifically refers to an allegation of misconduct regarding the wrongful appropriation and distribution of personal information.’
Capt. Sposato added the ‘current administrative separation process for the accused perpetrator mentioned in the video is ongoing.’
The Defense Department reported 7,825 cases of sexual assault in 2019 that involved service members being victims, a three percent increase from the previous year.
Sec. Austin previously ordered a review of the way his department handles sexual assault cases, although changes will be subject to congressional approval.
USA Today reports reports the suicide rate of active soldiers per 100,000 troops in 2019 was 25.9 percent, an increase from the previous year.
There were 498 suicides in 2019.