I have a confession to make. I used to belong to a group that has killed and maimed thousands of women since I joined in 2004. Within this same organization, numerous sexual assaults on its own women occur year after year, often unchecked and unreported. I turned a blind eye. I tried to convince myself I wasn’t involved. I even blamed the victims—anything to keep from becoming one of them.
I wasn’t in a gang. I wasn’t brainwashed in some fundamentalist cult. Nor was I one of the hundreds of thousands of women forced into prostitution every year by human traffickers. I was a sergeant in the United States military.This article was originally published in The Daily Beast.