U.S. Military Must Change How it Deals with Rape, Lawmaker Says
Los Angeles Times
March 7, 2012
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier on Wednesday castigated the U.S. military for its policies in dealing with rape and sexual assault and repeated her call for legislation to fix a system she said was broken.
In a floor speech, Speier (D-Hillsborough) called for passage of her legislation that would move rape and assault investigations out of the normal chain of command and put them in the hands of an impartial office. Her speech came in the same week that eight current and former members of the U.S. military filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging they had been raped, assaulted or harassed while serving, and that were targeted by superiors after reporting the attacks.
The Pentagon has repeatedly deplored sexual assaults and has insisted that it has no tolerance for such attacks. In December, it announced a new policy that gives those charging a sexual assault the option of a quick transfer to another unit or installation. The Defense Department has also stepped up training in handling such cases and in preventing assaults.
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