Jennifer Barnhill is a columnist for Military.com writing about military families.
When I first met Navy Lt. Christa Gunsauley, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of documentation she had. Emails. Medical reports. Screenshots of text messages.
She had accumulated the paperwork during her two-year battle with the United States Navy, fighting not because she was told she did anything wrong, but because she, as the alleged victim of sexual harassment, has been forced to prove that she isn't crazy.
For Gunsauley, it all started when a superior officer started texting her and inviting her to church.
“Initially, I felt like, ‘Oh, wow, he really cares about me as a sailor to the point where he's even checking on me,'” said Gunsauley. But things quickly took a turn, prompting Gunsauley to report the behavior to a senior leader in December 2021 who she claimed ignored her still unofficial cries for help.
“Instead of performing a preliminary investigation, he immediately bullied me by stripping me of command collateral duties,” said Gunsauley.
So, she kept the process going on her own and re-reported her complaint to a Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) leader who began a preliminary investigation a month after Gunsauley first told her superior. According to Gunsauley, this is where this story should have ended, with the processing of a timely investigation.
Instead, according to Gunsauley, it took more than six months from…