Government


Military Rape Speech 20 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier

 

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
May 17, 2012

 

 

Today I rise again to speak about the horrific situation in the military and that is the epidemic of rape and sexual assault that goes on unabated. This is the 20th time that I’m here on the floor to tell the story of yet another victim. 19 times before I’ve been on this floor to tell about victims in military service. I’ve told you about the military culture that treats sexual harassment and assault with a silent acceptance, and the command structure that punishes the victim and does not take care of dealing with the perpetrator.

Today i am going to tell you about the culture that exists in our military service academies that train our cadets to become commissioned officers. I’ve not told you that the same conflicted chain of command structure that exists in the military also exists at our prestigious service academies. The military academy at West Point and the Naval, Coast Guard, Air Force and Merchant Marine follow the same rules of the military. The Uniform Code of Military Justice. Today I’m going to tell you the story of Karley Marquet who was a first-year cadet when she was raped just last year.

She was a spanking brand new West Pointer, gifted in both academics and athletics, Karley was a star high school student. She had her pick to go to any number of colleges. She chose West Point because she wanted to serve her country. West Point chose Karley because she possessed the skills and character that the Army needs for success.

Click the link to view or read Congresswoman Speier’s 20th speech on military rape.

To view Congresswoman Speier’s speeches on military rape, click this usmvaw page link.

 

For additional information:

Rep. Jackie Speier | Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military

Protect Our Defenders

Letter to STOP Act Co-Sponsors (call to action)

 

“H.R. 3435, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act – or STOP Act which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.”  (Rep. Jackie Speier)

To see the current status of “The STOP Act” click the links below:

STOP Act Summary

The Stop Act: The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (H.R. 3435)

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“The four major wars in which American women served after World War II can be split into two pairs. Korea and Vietnam were conflicts fought in Asian countries divided by the politics of the Cold War. The Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought in the Middle East and grew out of tensions over aggression in that region and, in the latter instance, the 9/11 attacks. For women, the first two wars signaled few advances in their roles in military service, but in the two recent wars, the areas of women’s participation expanded immensely, with potentially more dire consequences.”

The stories of all women veterans need to be collected and preserved for future generations. And this is especially true for the stories of women who experienced sexual assault while serving their country.

Veterans can submit their own stories using the materials available from the Veterans History Project. To learn how you can participate in The Veterans History Project, click here.

 

U.S.-Japan Deal Withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

 

Bob Kovach and Chelsea J. Carter
CNN
April 27, 2012

 

Roughly half the U.S. Marines on Okinawa will be transferred under an agreement announced Thursday that will reduce the military footprint in Japan, easing local resentments over the amount of land being used by American forces.

Some 9,000 Marines along with their family members will be transferred under the agreement, with about 5,000 being sent to Guam as part of a military buildup on the U.S. territory in the Pacific, according to a joint statement released by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.

“I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.

To read the full story at the CNN web site, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee, U.S. Department of Defense, April 26, 2012

US, Japan Reach Agreement to Move 9,000 Marines, Voice of America, April 27, 2012

U.S., Japan Agree on Okinawa Troop Relocation, American Forces Press Service, April 27, 2012

US to Move Marines Out of Japan, The Guardian, April 27, 2012

Obama Addresses Sex Violence at Holocaust Museum

 

Rochelle G. Saidel
WeNews
April 27, 2012

 

On April 23, President Barack Obama delivered an address at a ceremony at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., intended both to commemorate the Holocaust and to outline his administration’s efforts to honor the pledge of “never again” by developing a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.

Regarding sexual violence and genocide, he said: “We’re doing more to protect women and girls from the horror of wartime sexual violence.” He added that, “for the first time, we explicitly barred entry into the United States of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Such crimes now include rape and sexual violence, according to the United Nations.

Remember the Women Institute, which has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about sexual violence against women during the Holocaust, believes it’s significant that Obama chose this occasion and this location to make his statement about “the horror of wartime sexual violence.”

To read the full article at the WeNews web site, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Obama at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington,  The Washington Post, April 23, 2012

Watch President Obama Speak at the Museum,  US Holocaust Memorial Museum, April 23, 2012

Remarks by the President at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The White House, April 23, 2012

 

Despite Election-Year Wrangling, Senate Renews Domestic Violence Law

 

Laurie Kellman
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2012

The Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act; it is the first time since the law was passed in 1994 that there has been opposition to a renewal, and renewing the law in the House may be more difficult.

The Senate overcame election-year gender politics Thursday to pass a bill renewing the government’s main domestic violence program. The 68-31 vote marked the first time since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994 that its renewal has drawn opposition in the Senate, reflecting the increasing polarization of the chamber and hair-trigger political sensitivities over women’s issues in this presidential and congressional election year.

“In 2012, we should be beyond questioning the need for the Violence Against Women Act,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. He urged the House to act quickly so President Barack Obama can sign the renewal into law.

To read the full story at the Christian Science Monitor, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, Roll Call, April 26, 2012

Senate OKs Violence Against Women Act, Talk Radio News Service, April 26, 2012

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, Think Progress, April 26, 2012

Violence Against Women Act, The Obamacrat™, April 26, 2012

Special Collection:

Sexual Violence in the Military

 

The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (VAWnet.org) has assembled a Special Collection that “addresses sexual violence against military service members, defines Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and offers resources (including information on current policy, procedures, legislation, and litigation) to support the prevention of and response to sexual violence as it impacts service members and veterans in the United States.”

The online collection includes a glossary of terms, information from experts in fields of sexual violence and military cultureas well as US Department of Defense policy materials. It is a great resource for both scholars and interested citizens on the issues of military sexual violence.

 

According to the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, the purpose of the special collection is to:

  • Provide information on issues and concepts specific to sexual violence against military service members;
  • Define the term Military Sexual Trauma;
  • Inform on current policy, procedures, legislation, and litigation that may impact members of the military, veterans, and advocates;
  • Offer resources for service members, veterans, advocates, educators, and prevention practitioners; and
  • Share additional resources and organizations serving as partners, collaborators, advocates, or allies for service members and veterans impacted by sexual violence.

 

To visit the special collection on Sexual Violence in the Military at VAWnet.org, click here.

Suing the Department of Defense for Dereliction of Its Duty

 

Nancy Parrish
Huffington Post
April 23, 2012

 

This past Friday, Protect Our Defenders partnered with Susan Burke to file a lawsuit against West Point and the Naval Academy. The suit accuses the academies of failing to prosecute cadets and midshipmen who have raped their fellow students.

Burke filed the lawsuit four days after Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced what were touted as major reforms in the way the military handles sexual assault and rape. In reality, these so-called “reforms” fall well short of the fundamental reform required. The new policy does very little to address the culture of tolerance for rape that pervades the U.S. military and has given rise to the existing epidemic.

Plaintiffs Kelly Marquet and Anne Kendzior courageously stepped forth alleging their military academies “have a high tolerance for sexual predators in the ranks and ‘zero tolerance’ for those who rape…”

To read the full article at the Huffington Post, click here.

 

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