Why Stopping Rape in the Military Is a Tough Sell


Rep. Jackie Speier explains that it’s an epidemic, and it’s not just a women’s issue

Kira Zalan
U.S. News
March 13, 2012

Reports show that the frequency of sexual assaults and rape in the military may be as high as twice the national average. In January, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the problem a top priority and announced initiatives to address it. But Rep. Jackie Speier says the efforts do not get to the core of the problem—the military’s chain-of-command culture. The two-term Democrat from California has introduced legislation that would challenge that culture by creating an autonomous office to deal with sexual assault cases. Speier recently spoke with U.S. News about the challenges of dealing with sexual assault in the military, her STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act, and why the bill is a “tough sell.”


To read excerpts of the interview at the U.S. News web site, click here.