I was raped by captain, TA private tells tribunal

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A Territorial Army private was raped and suffered a barrage of sexual insults and abuse during a three-year period of "institutionalised harassment", an industrial tribunal was told yesterday.

The 35-year-old woman from London, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was raped by a captain who was second in command of her unit. The attack was part of a three-year ordeal she endured as one of the first women recruits in the TA in London, she told the tribunal in central London yesterday. It is the first sexual harassment claim against the part-time Army reserve force.

She claims she was raped, groped, punched, and suffered sexually explicit insults during her period of voluntary service with the TA between 1992 and September 1995.

She also said she was raped on April 23, 1994. "I was waiting for a taxi after leaving an event at the TA. He came up to me and insisted on driving me home. We went to his house." She told the tribunal he insisted on her staying over, giving her the bed while he slept on the sofa. "I woke up in the night with the captain on top of me. I told him to get off and asked him what he thought he was doing. I couldn't get him off. He had intercourse with me. I was so upset and shocked I didn't know what to do."

She told the tribunal she did not contact the police or tell any senior officers within her TA unit. "I didn't think anyone would believe me. I just had to be strong and carry on."