Caged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet's Story of Rape and Resilience by Lynn K. Hall
Caged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet’s Story of Rape and Resilience
Beacon Press / Penguin Random House

An insider’s account of misogyny and rape in the US military and her extraordinary path to recovery and activism

In one of the worst scandals ever faced by the military, in 2003, six women went public with their accounts of sexual assault and harassment at the Air Force Academy. The relentless media attention and congressional inquiry instigated a crisis at the Academy, one pitting rape survivors against the classmates who blamed them for trying to destroy the institution. Lynn Hall was one of those survivors desperate to realize her childhood dream of being an astronaut. For Hall, the military offered an escape from her chaotic home—her erratic mother, absent biological father, and a man she called “dad” who sexually abused her. She’s dismissed from the Academy when, after being raped by a classmate and contracting herpes, she is diagnosed with meningitis and left with chronic pain. A story of grappling with shame and a culture that blames victims, Caged Eyes is also a moving account of Hall’s struggle to advocate for herself and recognize her own strength.

Beacon Press
Penguin Random House


“Told in compelling, honest prose, Caged Eyes is both an exposé of the horrifying misogyny and rape culture within the US military and a memoir of extraordinary resilience and triumph.”

Helen Benedict, author of The Lonely Soldier and Sand Queen

“Lynn Hall is a powerful writer who tells an epic story. She vividly captures what it means to be raped by a fellow cadet—someone she considered family. She brings to life in a deeply personal way the double betrayal. First she was assaulted by a friend, and then she was silenced by an institution she loved, one which proved sadly incapable of enacting true justice. Hall is an incredibly resilient human being and this is a spectacular book about finding one’s voice and speaking out about injustice.”

Helen Thorpe, author of Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War

“Brave, direct, and unflinching, Hall portrays, with compelling detail, the battle that women fight against sexual violence. Her story is heartbreaking, but also honest and inspiring. Her powerful voice makes this an absolutely necessary book, addressing a critically important issue.”

Sue William Silverman, author of Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You

Caged Eyes is an incredible story of a young woman’s odyssey. As Lynn Hall seeks to fulfill her dream to fly, she confronts unspeakable familial and health roadblocks due to sexual abuse first at home and later while a student in the Air Force Academy. Hall’s story confronts us with a modern-day pilgrim’s progress through the sometimes torturous path of growing up female in a man’s world. Due to her resilience and the love of friends, this is ultimately a tale of resurrection and hope for women struggling for sexual equality.”

Peggy Sanday, author of Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex, Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus

“As a vulnerable young woman, Lynn Hall encountered a succession of men, and then a prestigious institution, that not only abused her but tried to coerce her into silence. But they did not succeed. This beautiful and inspiring memoir represents the triumph of her voice—and by extension that of countless other victims and survivors—over the actions and inactions of perpetrators and bystanders who might have been able to inflict pain but who could never hold a candle to her strength of character and moral integrity.”

Jackson Katz, PhD, cofounder of Mentors in Violence Prevention, the first system-wide gender violence prevention program in the US military, and author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help