So i'm an NCO in the military which is a fancy way of saying that I run a certain portion of my section. One of my troops has repeatedly been hitting me in the neck / throat area whenever I say something that bothers her. She has done this a total of 3 times.
At first I thought it was fine and to just "Suck it up" and be a man, but after thinking about it for a while it dawned on me that if I were to do the same to her I'd probably be in jail.
Usually in the work environment we joke and laugh with each other. Its a very close nit family kinda deal. At the time my boss who is much higher ranked than me (a female) was in the room with us. So every now and then I'll crack a joke when I think it can get a rise out of the shop. In this case the female that hits me lets just call her Amber said "Man it smells like onions in here!". I replied "Probably because your breath stinks". She then Karate chopped the back of my neck with significant force. It was easy to see that I was not okay about this and I was expecting leadership to jump on that shit like a wild fire, but instead my boss just told everyone to relax. This bothered me, no one wanted to stand up for me at all. Is what I said deserving of being struck?
I also did not want to blow up in front of everyone nor possibly embarrass my troop in front of higher ups. So I decided to cool down and just think about it. Try to understand how she grew up and maybe that kinda reaction was normal. No matter how many times I broke it down for myself I could not rationalize it.
Later that day my other NCO came up to me and said "Bro, this is the third time she's hit you are you okay with that?". When he told me this, it clicked that this type of reaction is not normal.
So after a couple hours I asked to speak to her in private for a bit and let her know what was going through my mind. I told her "I love the fact that our section is so closely nit, but I really don't like it when you hit me would you mind not doing that anymore?".
She said "Sure"
She never apologized and kinda held the attitude of "You deserved it".
I'm pretty sure if this happens again, i'm probably just going to give her some written counselling (paperwork) on it. I feel helpless and i'm kinda losing sleep over this event.
Can anyone tell me what I could have done better in this situation? Should I just let it go and move on? I feel like no justice has been done.