Women in Central Sulawesi help promote REDD program

Firery women make their towns safer

19 November 2011

published by http://www.adelaidenow.com.au


Australia — ARMED with practical skills for fire fighting, rural women are better prepared to protect their families.

The South Australian Country Fire Service, with the State Government and the community, developed the award-winning education program called Firery Women after the devastating Wangary fire on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Nine people died, mostly women and children.

Community education and public warnings manager Fiona Dunstan said research including in-depth interviews with survivors showed rural women were particularly vulnerable.

“Women were often left on the farm,” she said.

“The men would get on their fire trucks and they’d be gone for the day. More often than not, the women and children were left at home with the fire.

“There were some instances of the men ringing and saying ‘Just take the kids and go, I’m really frightened for you, just go’. Others were left at home with no idea how to start pumps, no idea how to squirt water, because that was typically the role of the men in the household.”

Mother of two Hayley Anderson, from Endeavour Heights near Port Lincoln, said she’d always imagined she’d bundle the family in the car as soon as she saw smoke or flames.

That was until she heard about the tragic death of Judith Griffith, 59, and her grandchildren, Jack, 2, and Star Borlase, 3, who left too late.

“It so easily could have been us,” she said. “It’s quite frightening when you see it that way.”

Mrs Anderson was so impressed with her first Firey Women workshop that she took her 12-year-old daughter, mother and mother-in-law along at the next opportunity.

“All this sort of stuff you leave to men generally is what Firey Women teaches you,” Mrs Anderson said.

“It’s really hands on. You get in there and you do actually work a pump, you hold on to a hose while the water is gushing out and you realise how difficult it is to control it and how strong it is. You don’t want to come across that sort of stuff and have no idea of what you’re doing.”

Firey Women has won the state final of the 2011 Australian Safer Communities Awards. The national winner will be announced in Canberra next month.


Women in Central Sulawesi help promote REDD program

Firery women make their towns safer

19 November 2011

published by http://www.adelaidenow.com.au


Australia — ARMED with practical skills for fire fighting, rural women are better prepared to protect their families.

The South Australian Country Fire Service, with the State Government and the community, developed the award-winning education program called Firery Women after the devastating Wangary fire on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Nine people died, mostly women and children.

Community education and public warnings manager Fiona Dunstan said research including in-depth interviews with survivors showed rural women were particularly vulnerable.

“Women were often left on the farm,” she said.

“The men would get on their fire trucks and they’d be gone for the day. More often than not, the women and children were left at home with the fire.

“There were some instances of the men ringing and saying ‘Just take the kids and go, I’m really frightened for you, just go’. Others were left at home with no idea how to start pumps, no idea how to squirt water, because that was typically the role of the men in the household.”

Mother of two Hayley Anderson, from Endeavour Heights near Port Lincoln, said she’d always imagined she’d bundle the family in the car as soon as she saw smoke or flames.

That was until she heard about the tragic death of Judith Griffith, 59, and her grandchildren, Jack, 2, and Star Borlase, 3, who left too late.

“It so easily could have been us,” she said. “It’s quite frightening when you see it that way.”

Mrs Anderson was so impressed with her first Firey Women workshop that she took her 12-year-old daughter, mother and mother-in-law along at the next opportunity.

“All this sort of stuff you leave to men generally is what Firey Women teaches you,” Mrs Anderson said.

“It’s really hands on. You get in there and you do actually work a pump, you hold on to a hose while the water is gushing out and you realise how difficult it is to control it and how strong it is. You don’t want to come across that sort of stuff and have no idea of what you’re doing.”

Firey Women has won the state final of the 2011 Australian Safer Communities Awards. The national winner will be announced in Canberra next month.


Natural disasters increase violence against women

Natural disasters increase violence against women

08 March 2012

published by www.abc.net.au


Australia — A new report shows women suffer domestic violence in the wake of natural disasters.

Australians have a 1 in 6 estimated lifetime exposure to natural disaster and the after effects, according to this ground breaking report, will include increases in relationship violence.

This research, from the Women’s Health Goulburn North East organisation, a specialist women’s health service for the Goulburn Valley and north east Victoria, uses case studies showing violence against women increased following the Victoria bushfires, a disturbing outcome that mirrors overseas experience where violence against women is characteristic of post-disaster recovery.

It’s the first Australian research to identify and examine family violence after the Black Saturday bushfires

Chief researcher, Deborah Parkinson says while previous Australian research has looked at what happens in disaster-recovery phases, none focuses on the experience of women in regard to violence.

“In the tumult of disaster recovery, relationship violence is often ignored, unrecognised and unrecorded,” she says.

“This research presents the case for clear-eyed recognition of increased violence against women in the aftermath of disaster and a disaster response that protects women and offers options, while proactively recognising the increased needs of men, to prevent family violence.”

According to Ms Parkinson the factors that lead to violence are understandable.

“Stress levels are high, perpetrators may have been ‘heroes’ and, following a disaster, men are often unemployed and sometimes suicidal.

“Support services are over-burdened with primary and fire-related needs in the aftermath of a disaster and this serves to exacerbate a willingness to overlook violence against women.”

Details of the study will be outlined at the Identifying the Hidden Disaster Conference in Melbourne tomorrow.


Natural disasters increase violence against women

Natural disasters increase violence against women

08 March 2012

published by www.abc.net.au


Australia — A new report shows women suffer domestic violence in the wake of natural disasters.

Australians have a 1 in 6 estimated lifetime exposure to natural disaster and the after effects, according to this ground breaking report, will include increases in relationship violence.

This research, from the Women’s Health Goulburn North East organisation, a specialist women’s health service for the Goulburn Valley and north east Victoria, uses case studies showing violence against women increased following the Victoria bushfires, a disturbing outcome that mirrors overseas experience where violence against women is characteristic of post-disaster recovery.

It’s the first Australian research to identify and examine family violence after the Black Saturday bushfires

Chief researcher, Deborah Parkinson says while previous Australian research has looked at what happens in disaster-recovery phases, none focuses on the experience of women in regard to violence.

“In the tumult of disaster recovery, relationship violence is often ignored, unrecognised and unrecorded,” she says.

“This research presents the case for clear-eyed recognition of increased violence against women in the aftermath of disaster and a disaster response that protects women and offers options, while proactively recognising the increased needs of men, to prevent family violence.”

According to Ms Parkinson the factors that lead to violence are understandable.

“Stress levels are high, perpetrators may have been ‘heroes’ and, following a disaster, men are often unemployed and sometimes suicidal.

“Support services are over-burdened with primary and fire-related needs in the aftermath of a disaster and this serves to exacerbate a willingness to overlook violence against women.”

Details of the study will be outlined at the Identifying the Hidden Disaster Conference in Melbourne tomorrow.


Southwestern Fire Boot Camp hosts women for the first time

Southwestern Fire Boot Camp Hosts Women for the First Time

23 April 2012

published by http://blogs.usda.gov


USA — The first weekend of the first ever Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp exceeded the expectations of boot camp organizer, Bequi Livingston.

“The first session of our boot camp programs were beyond incredible and certainly one of the highlights of my career. I think that we have certainly developed a model for future use that is very successful and provides so much ownership at the field level,” Livingston said.

The boot camp idea was developed to attract the next generation of wildland fire fighters and provide a supportive and educational environment.

Due to the seasonal nature of many of the responsibilities of the Forest Service, such as wildfire fighting and seasonal recreation programs, the agency hires many temporary workers. Annually, the Forest Service and its conservation partners hire approximately 15,000 young adults for summer positions.

Two sessions of the boot camp were held concurrently in Phoenix, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M., over two consecutive weekends in March.

Although women were targeted for the boot camp, anyone interested in the program was encouraged to apply. Organizers conducted an extensive outreach effort throughout Arizona and New Mexico aiming for a diversified group of participants.

The program provided a unique opportunity for participants. They learned firsthand about the expectations and challenges faced by wildland firefighters.

Instructors covered a range of topics which included physical conditioning, the mental aptitude required for the job, along with the required training in such subject areas as: the Incident Command System, wildland fire behavior and, of course, basic wildland firefighting.

Linda Wadleigh, deputy for the program said she was energized by the group of women at the Phoenix session. “The instructors had to be on their toes, answering all their questions and giving them the best possible training we could. Working with rookie firefighters made me up my game too.”

As one class member said, “Hey, girls can do this? Then so can I.”
 


Southwestern Fire Boot Camp hosts women for the first time

Southwestern Fire Boot Camp Hosts Women for the First Time

23 April 2012

published by http://blogs.usda.gov


USA — The first weekend of the first ever Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp exceeded the expectations of boot camp organizer, Bequi Livingston.

“The first session of our boot camp programs were beyond incredible and certainly one of the highlights of my career. I think that we have certainly developed a model for future use that is very successful and provides so much ownership at the field level,” Livingston said.

The boot camp idea was developed to attract the next generation of wildland fire fighters and provide a supportive and educational environment.

Due to the seasonal nature of many of the responsibilities of the Forest Service, such as wildfire fighting and seasonal recreation programs, the agency hires many temporary workers. Annually, the Forest Service and its conservation partners hire approximately 15,000 young adults for summer positions.

Two sessions of the boot camp were held concurrently in Phoenix, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M., over two consecutive weekends in March.

Although women were targeted for the boot camp, anyone interested in the program was encouraged to apply. Organizers conducted an extensive outreach effort throughout Arizona and New Mexico aiming for a diversified group of participants.

The program provided a unique opportunity for participants. They learned firsthand about the expectations and challenges faced by wildland firefighters.

Instructors covered a range of topics which included physical conditioning, the mental aptitude required for the job, along with the required training in such subject areas as: the Incident Command System, wildland fire behavior and, of course, basic wildland firefighting.

Linda Wadleigh, deputy for the program said she was energized by the group of women at the Phoenix session. “The instructors had to be on their toes, answering all their questions and giving them the best possible training we could. Working with rookie firefighters made me up my game too.”

As one class member said, “Hey, girls can do this? Then so can I.”
 


Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

27 April 2012

published by www.foothillsmediagroup.com


USA — GRANBY — The Lost Acres Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary has just completed 65 years of service to the community. The organization was begun the Spring of 1946 and replaced the Women’s Forest Fire Crew which was established in 1942 with the men away at war. They were a volunteer organization just as they still are with duties to augment the men & assist in the fire protection needs of area. These pioneering and brave women gave of their time to actively serve. Armed with shovels, rakes, brooms & buckets they would frequently stop their lives & fight to put out fires that would pop up. A sample of this is shown in this local article from The Hartford Currant March 24th, 1942;

Crew of Women Help Fight Fire after One Lesson

Newly organized, a crew of feminine fire fighters received their first instructions at a session Monday night and on Tuesday afternoon, purely by chance, they had their baptism of fire. They put the fire out.

Under direction of Mrs. George Beeman, the Hartland Women’s Forest Fire Crew was organized during the last few weeks and a course of training was started Monday night.

At the first session they were shown how knapsack pumps are used to put a blight on flames that come creeping through woods or brush or grass. The women took turns at wearing and practicing with the knapsack pumps which weigh about 50 pounds when filled to capacity with water.

Equipped with such a pump a fighter can move along a blazing line of brush or grass, spray and quench several yards of flames before a refill is needed.

Three of the women who received the instructions were gathered at a home nearby Tuesday afternoon when a grass fire broke out on the property owned by John Lichdi in East Hartland.

The blaze kept spreading, pushed along by a stiff wind. Fire Warden James J. Thompson started rounding up help. The Lost Acres Fire Department sent a pumper and a crew of men. Another pumper was also sent from the Lost Acres Farm of Horace B. Clark.

While this aid was being summoned, the women moved into the battle. Warden Thompson provided them with the knapsack pumps they had seen demonstated and with which they had brief practice. He said later they acted like seasoned veterans once they had their pumps working and saw how efficiently the spray killed off the flames.

Their best work was done against flames which had raced through dry grass and threatened to ignite a 10 room house owned by Mrs. Lena White of North Granby and Mrs. Emily Thomas of Westfield, MA. Tongues of fire were lapping the foundations of the house when the women turned the hose on them.

Two other women, without benefit of knapsack pumps also helped fight the fire. They went out with brooms, another worthy weapon against grass fires, and put out flames that started from sparks which jumped a woodland road and threatened to spread over other acres.

The photo is one of our first showing these women in action. We currently are now called the LAFD Women’s Auxiliary. Serving as a volunteer group which serves the community but in a more supportive role then our predecessors. We are so proud to share with the local area this monumental year for us just as the Town of Granby’s 225th & Lost Acres Fire Department’ s 75th were celebrated in 2011. These other photo’s are of our current members. So when you see this women remember they not only support the LAFD but each and everyone of you in this community.Thank You for all your support.


Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

27 April 2012

published by www.foothillsmediagroup.com


USA — GRANBY — The Lost Acres Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary has just completed 65 years of service to the community. The organization was begun the Spring of 1946 and replaced the Women’s Forest Fire Crew which was established in 1942 with the men away at war. They were a volunteer organization just as they still are with duties to augment the men & assist in the fire protection needs of area. These pioneering and brave women gave of their time to actively serve. Armed with shovels, rakes, brooms & buckets they would frequently stop their lives & fight to put out fires that would pop up. A sample of this is shown in this local article from The Hartford Currant March 24th, 1942;

Crew of Women Help Fight Fire after One Lesson

Newly organized, a crew of feminine fire fighters received their first instructions at a session Monday night and on Tuesday afternoon, purely by chance, they had their baptism of fire. They put the fire out.

Under direction of Mrs. George Beeman, the Hartland Women’s Forest Fire Crew was organized during the last few weeks and a course of training was started Monday night.

At the first session they were shown how knapsack pumps are used to put a blight on flames that come creeping through woods or brush or grass. The women took turns at wearing and practicing with the knapsack pumps which weigh about 50 pounds when filled to capacity with water.

Equipped with such a pump a fighter can move along a blazing line of brush or grass, spray and quench several yards of flames before a refill is needed.

Three of the women who received the instructions were gathered at a home nearby Tuesday afternoon when a grass fire broke out on the property owned by John Lichdi in East Hartland.

The blaze kept spreading, pushed along by a stiff wind. Fire Warden James J. Thompson started rounding up help. The Lost Acres Fire Department sent a pumper and a crew of men. Another pumper was also sent from the Lost Acres Farm of Horace B. Clark.

While this aid was being summoned, the women moved into the battle. Warden Thompson provided them with the knapsack pumps they had seen demonstated and with which they had brief practice. He said later they acted like seasoned veterans once they had their pumps working and saw how efficiently the spray killed off the flames.

Their best work was done against flames which had raced through dry grass and threatened to ignite a 10 room house owned by Mrs. Lena White of North Granby and Mrs. Emily Thomas of Westfield, MA. Tongues of fire were lapping the foundations of the house when the women turned the hose on them.

Two other women, without benefit of knapsack pumps also helped fight the fire. They went out with brooms, another worthy weapon against grass fires, and put out flames that started from sparks which jumped a woodland road and threatened to spread over other acres.

The photo is one of our first showing these women in action. We currently are now called the LAFD Women’s Auxiliary. Serving as a volunteer group which serves the community but in a more supportive role then our predecessors. We are so proud to share with the local area this monumental year for us just as the Town of Granby’s 225th & Lost Acres Fire Department’ s 75th were celebrated in 2011. These other photo’s are of our current members. So when you see this women remember they not only support the LAFD but each and everyone of you in this community.Thank You for all your support.


Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

Female fire fighter fights different fight

07 August 2012

published by www.recorderonline.com


USA — Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on a local woman’s battle against the forest service. Part II will look at other charges of sexual misconduct within the forest service.

Alicia Dabney, 30, became a fire fighter because she wanted to help others. She believed that fire fighters were heros, women and men who had dedicated their lives to ensuring the safety of others. Becoming a fire fighter for the Sequoia National Forest was a job that not only saw her following her childhood dreams, but inspired her three sons. They would point to Smoky the Bear, Dabney said, and say “my mom works for him.”

Or, in this case, worked. Dabney is no longer an employee of the Forest Service.

The agency said it is because she omitted information when filling out her “Declaration for Federal Employment Form OF-306” three years ago, when she originally applied for a position with the Forest Service. Dabney and the civil rights advocate who is helping her with her case, Lesa Donnelly, believe it is because she did not quietly turn over and allow her coworkers to get away with sexual harassment, assault and discrimination.

“I want to go to work tomorrow, but I want to do it an honest way,” Dabney said in an interview conducted a week before her termination. “I just want some kind of help to make them aware that they are caught. Enough is enough.”

According to Dabney, she has been fighting a battle nearly since the time she began to work for the Forest Service in 2010, to defend herself against sexual misconduct from her coworkers in the form of sexual harassment and physical assault. Dabney has filed numerous Equal Employment Opportunity complaints against the forest service, and has gone through five investigations into the allegations she has raised.

Dabney was aware the end was coming, however: She’d been placed on administrative leave by the Forest Supervisor for the Sequoia National Forest, Kevin Elliot, in May.

“They are already treating me like I am nothing. They won’t return phone calls. I call in for a supervisor and he is just telling people ‘don’t talk to her,’” she said, adding that those who would talk to her told her it was in her best interest to “speak to Kevin (Elliot).”

Neither Elliot or the local public relations officer, Mary Chislock, were able to comment. Instead, inquiries about the case, Chislock said, were to be directed to John C. Heil III, the press officer for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service. According to Heil, “it is the policy of the USDA and the Forest Service to provide a workplace environment that is free of harassment.”

Heil said the Forest service has taken Dabney’s “concerns” very seriously and have either investigated or are currently investigating the incidents. As far as the results of these investigations, Heil would not say, except that “appropriate action is taken to provide a work environment where all employees feel safe and valued.”

The two women had suspected that Dabney would eventually be terminated, and were already preparing for an appeal.

“They didn’t realize that she had kept all of her documentation,” Donnelly said of Dabney’s efforts to fill out her application.

When Dabney originally saw the accusation, it seemed laughably illogical to her.

“Three years later? I hate to insult their intelligence, but nowhere in the government do you get away with lying on your background for that long,” Dabney said.

Dabney’s termination, effective July 2, is a “trumped up charge,” Donnelly said, and was created just to “discredit her.”

Dabney began to work for the forest service as an apprentice fire fighter at McClellan Airforce Base Wildland Fighterfighter Apprenticeship academy and immediately found herself being harassed. She filed a complaint, which was investigated while she completed the first half of her training. That fall, after going into the advanced level class, she found that her efforts to speak out had only made her life worse. The harassment increased, she fought back, and eventually she was kicked out of the academy in retaliation, she said.

After that, she was assigned to the Springville Work Station, where she said the harassment followed her. Dabney continued to file Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints, and in doing so, opened the door for an escalating wave of verbal, emotional and physical abuse from her superior and coworkers, she charges.

Along with documents that prove she didn’t lie on her application, she has pictures, recorded audio, and a large amount of correspondence to back up her sexual harassment and assault complaints. Her accusations include that her coworkers wrote “Alicia Dabney is a whore” on a pile of papers which they tossed around the engine bay for her to see. She says she has received sexually explicit phone calls. One of the most humiliating things, however, she said, was having to urinate along the side of the road in front of her all-male crew after they refused to stop at an establish rest room.

Her supervisor has not only ignored her, he has denied her training and new equipment because she is “too fat,” and forced her to report the start of her period each month, she charges. Dabney also said that on an assignment in Texas, this supervisor also spat in her face, and then later tried to rape her. He isn’t the only one who allegedly has assaulted her. She said she was later assaulted by a male co-worker at her workstation.

Dabney has witnesses for many of the incidents, though most of them have not come forward, except for two men who saw the later assault. She was bending down and as she did so, one of the men she worked with straddled her neck and head, forced her to the ground, and “rode her like a horse” as Donnelly described it. Dabney still becomes emotional thinking about this humiliation, and the fact that even though action was taken she feels that she has not yet received justice.

“Every investigation they’ve done has been inconclusive,” Donnelly said. “The only accountability they have done is the man who assaulted her.”

Donnelly went on to say that the man was given the option to resign, which he did. Operating procedure for the complaint would have seen him put on paid administrative leave while the complaint was investigated, as he was the one who committed a violent action. Instead, Dabney was placed on paid administrative leave, and not allowed to work at all, which Donnelly also explained, was against standard operating procedure.

Those who have been placed on paid administrative leave for non-violent causes are supposed to continue working, so that they would continue to produce some sort of work for the salary they are continuing to draw off of taxpayer’s money. It is this that upsets Dabney the most. She requested a transfer from Elliot and was denied it, and staying at home for months, being unable to work, was driving her “crazy” she said.

“My biggest thing right now is that I’m stuck at home on taxpayers dollars when I’m capable of working,” Dabney said.

So, she continues to pursue her case not only for herself, but her children and others who may have been mistreated.

“They are totally trying to sweep it under the rug. I need help to get the story out there, and to let people know that there are major violations going on and that there is a cover-up,” Dabney said. “I know if we go public, more people who we can’t get in touch with will come out. I have seen females get ran out of there, and I am hoping that they come out and talk about their investigations, how they filed and the Forest Service fired them and got rid of them. I just want it to stop.”
 


 

 

 

Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

Female fire fighter fights different fight

07 August 2012

published by www.recorderonline.com


USA — Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on a local woman’s battle against the forest service. Part II will look at other charges of sexual misconduct within the forest service.

Alicia Dabney, 30, became a fire fighter because she wanted to help others. She believed that fire fighters were heros, women and men who had dedicated their lives to ensuring the safety of others. Becoming a fire fighter for the Sequoia National Forest was a job that not only saw her following her childhood dreams, but inspired her three sons. They would point to Smoky the Bear, Dabney said, and say “my mom works for him.”

Or, in this case, worked. Dabney is no longer an employee of the Forest Service.

The agency said it is because she omitted information when filling out her “Declaration for Federal Employment Form OF-306” three years ago, when she originally applied for a position with the Forest Service. Dabney and the civil rights advocate who is helping her with her case, Lesa Donnelly, believe it is because she did not quietly turn over and allow her coworkers to get away with sexual harassment, assault and discrimination.

“I want to go to work tomorrow, but I want to do it an honest way,” Dabney said in an interview conducted a week before her termination. “I just want some kind of help to make them aware that they are caught. Enough is enough.”

According to Dabney, she has been fighting a battle nearly since the time she began to work for the Forest Service in 2010, to defend herself against sexual misconduct from her coworkers in the form of sexual harassment and physical assault. Dabney has filed numerous Equal Employment Opportunity complaints against the forest service, and has gone through five investigations into the allegations she has raised.

Dabney was aware the end was coming, however: She’d been placed on administrative leave by the Forest Supervisor for the Sequoia National Forest, Kevin Elliot, in May.

“They are already treating me like I am nothing. They won’t return phone calls. I call in for a supervisor and he is just telling people ‘don’t talk to her,’” she said, adding that those who would talk to her told her it was in her best interest to “speak to Kevin (Elliot).”

Neither Elliot or the local public relations officer, Mary Chislock, were able to comment. Instead, inquiries about the case, Chislock said, were to be directed to John C. Heil III, the press officer for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service. According to Heil, “it is the policy of the USDA and the Forest Service to provide a workplace environment that is free of harassment.”

Heil said the Forest service has taken Dabney’s “concerns” very seriously and have either investigated or are currently investigating the incidents. As far as the results of these investigations, Heil would not say, except that “appropriate action is taken to provide a work environment where all employees feel safe and valued.”

The two women had suspected that Dabney would eventually be terminated, and were already preparing for an appeal.

“They didn’t realize that she had kept all of her documentation,” Donnelly said of Dabney’s efforts to fill out her application.

When Dabney originally saw the accusation, it seemed laughably illogical to her.

“Three years later? I hate to insult their intelligence, but nowhere in the government do you get away with lying on your background for that long,” Dabney said.

Dabney’s termination, effective July 2, is a “trumped up charge,” Donnelly said, and was created just to “discredit her.”

Dabney began to work for the forest service as an apprentice fire fighter at McClellan Airforce Base Wildland Fighterfighter Apprenticeship academy and immediately found herself being harassed. She filed a complaint, which was investigated while she completed the first half of her training. That fall, after going into the advanced level class, she found that her efforts to speak out had only made her life worse. The harassment increased, she fought back, and eventually she was kicked out of the academy in retaliation, she said.

After that, she was assigned to the Springville Work Station, where she said the harassment followed her. Dabney continued to file Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints, and in doing so, opened the door for an escalating wave of verbal, emotional and physical abuse from her superior and coworkers, she charges.

Along with documents that prove she didn’t lie on her application, she has pictures, recorded audio, and a large amount of correspondence to back up her sexual harassment and assault complaints. Her accusations include that her coworkers wrote “Alicia Dabney is a whore” on a pile of papers which they tossed around the engine bay for her to see. She says she has received sexually explicit phone calls. One of the most humiliating things, however, she said, was having to urinate along the side of the road in front of her all-male crew after they refused to stop at an establish rest room.

Her supervisor has not only ignored her, he has denied her training and new equipment because she is “too fat,” and forced her to report the start of her period each month, she charges. Dabney also said that on an assignment in Texas, this supervisor also spat in her face, and then later tried to rape her. He isn’t the only one who allegedly has assaulted her. She said she was later assaulted by a male co-worker at her workstation.

Dabney has witnesses for many of the incidents, though most of them have not come forward, except for two men who saw the later assault. She was bending down and as she did so, one of the men she worked with straddled her neck and head, forced her to the ground, and “rode her like a horse” as Donnelly described it. Dabney still becomes emotional thinking about this humiliation, and the fact that even though action was taken she feels that she has not yet received justice.

“Every investigation they’ve done has been inconclusive,” Donnelly said. “The only accountability they have done is the man who assaulted her.”

Donnelly went on to say that the man was given the option to resign, which he did. Operating procedure for the complaint would have seen him put on paid administrative leave while the complaint was investigated, as he was the one who committed a violent action. Instead, Dabney was placed on paid administrative leave, and not allowed to work at all, which Donnelly also explained, was against standard operating procedure.

Those who have been placed on paid administrative leave for non-violent causes are supposed to continue working, so that they would continue to produce some sort of work for the salary they are continuing to draw off of taxpayer’s money. It is this that upsets Dabney the most. She requested a transfer from Elliot and was denied it, and staying at home for months, being unable to work, was driving her “crazy” she said.

“My biggest thing right now is that I’m stuck at home on taxpayers dollars when I’m capable of working,” Dabney said.

So, she continues to pursue her case not only for herself, but her children and others who may have been mistreated.

“They are totally trying to sweep it under the rug. I need help to get the story out there, and to let people know that there are major violations going on and that there is a cover-up,” Dabney said. “I know if we go public, more people who we can’t get in touch with will come out. I have seen females get ran out of there, and I am hoping that they come out and talk about their investigations, how they filed and the Forest Service fired them and got rid of them. I just want it to stop.”