British actress and writer Mary Jane Wells goes public with the first stage of this eviscerating but ultimately life-affirming true story, from an anonymous lesbian soldier.
"Heroine was written from a sense of outrage, specifically for Danna Davis, but also for you and me and for all those who still experience sexual assault and subsequent retaliation in the UK armed forces or the US army. It’s a story we need to hear, that uses the literal, artistic and metaphorical power of the human voice to ensure that silence is no longer an accomplice. My bones said, ‘Write!’ "
– Mary Jane Wells
Heroine is closely based on the true story of a female soldier and her experiences in the US army. With this project, this previously unknown soldier is telling her story publicly for the first time.
Heroine is a human story of Danna Davis (her nom de guerre), a living survivor of military sexual trauma. Both light and dark, the play speaks to us of what healing and forgiveness really mean. Danna served for 10 years in the US army as Drill Sergeant, Staff Sergeant and Squad Leader, helping Rwanda after the genocide and tearing down the Berlin wall. She was awarded many medals during her service, including the Purple Heart: at the time she enlisted, she was the only woman in her entire company.
Danna is also a survivor of military sexual trauma - the term used when a soldier rapes another soldier. Subsequently she led a secret mission into the Middle East with one of her assailants in her squad: they were two of the very few to return home alive.
Embarking on probably her biggest mission yet, Danna speaks out for the first time about her experience.
All US box office profit from the production is being donated to www.protectourdefenders.com
The Department of Defence (DOD) defines Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, and acknowledges that it affects both women and men in uniform. The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012 and the figures are actually higher for 2013 and 2014. According to these figures, female soldiers in the US army are statistically more likely to be sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier than they are to be killed in combat. As it stands, there are 71 sexual assaults or related incidents EVERY DAY and only 13.5% of these are reported.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) in the UK has no accurate figures for military sexual trauma (referred to in the UK as ‘Blue on Blue’ sexual trauma) as service police forces neither collect nor publish annually anonymised statistics on the number of allegations of sexual assault and rape made by or against a member of the armed forces.