Rep Speier Speaks Out Against Military Rape on CNN Presents

 

April 22, 2012

Congresswoman Speier was featured on the April 22, 2012 CNN Presents special “Betrayal of Trust” to talk about her efforts and legislation to end the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military.

The special tells the stories of two young women who were raped while serving as cadets at military service academies and then examines their barriers to justice. Congresswoman Speier explains that justice will only be served when cases of rape and sexual assault are taken out of the chain of command structure.

“If you’re not going to have your assailant prosecuted, why would you want to come forward? Because you’re basically setting yourself up to lose your career in the military,” said Speier.

 

 

 

For additional information:

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

Speier Critical Over Military’s Handling of Rape,   KGO-TV,  March 7, 2012

Betrayal of Trust? Allegations of Rape at West Point, Annapolis

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)

Sexual Assault in the Military –
SAPRO Annual Report, DoD Initiatives

 

The Pentagon’s top civilian and military leaders took their campaign to stop sexual assault in the military to Capitol Hill, where they announced new initiatives to combat the problem.

“General Dempsey and I consider this a serious problem that needs to be addressed,” Secretary Panetta said. “It violates everything the U.S. military stands for.”

The U.S. Department of Defense released a statement on April 16, 2012 regarding the issue of sexual assault in the military.

The initiatives include:

  • Establishing with congressional approval a “special victims’ unit” within each service composed of specially trained experts in evidence collection, interviewing and working with victims;
  • Requiring that sexual assault policies be explained to all service members within 14 days of their entry into active duty;
  • Allowing National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been sexually assaulted to remain on active duty status to obtain the treatment and support afforded to active-duty members;
  • Requiring a record of the outcome of disciplinary and administrative proceedings related to sexual assault and retaining the records centrally;
  • Requiring commanders to conduct annual organizational climate assessments to measure whether they are meeting the department’s goal of a culture of professionalism and zero tolerance of sexual assault;
  • Enhancing training programs for sexual assault prevention, including training for new military commanders in handling sexual assault matters; and
  • Mandating wider public dissemination of available sexual assault resources, such as DOD’s “Safe Helpline,” a 24/7 helpline via Web, phone or text message operated by the nonprofit Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

To read the full Armed Forces Press Service article, click here.

 

 

US Department of Defense
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office

 

US Department of Defense SAPRO – Annual Reports

Fact Sheet on Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military for Fiscal 2011 April 13, 2012  (DoD)

Briefing Paper: Department of Defense (DoD) Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 – Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

 

Media Coverage and Editorials:

Leon Panetta Lays Out New Rules to Combat Sexual Assault in U.S. Military,  The Daily Beast, April 18, 2012

Right Steps on Military Sexual Assault, The New York Times (Editorial), April 17, 2012

Panetta Offers Steps to Curb Sex Assault in Military, Reuters, April 16, 2012

Panetta, Dempsey Announce Initiatives to Stop Sexual Assault, Armed Forces Press Service, April 16, 2012