Yesterday Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, and 46 bipartisan Members of Congress, issued a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairs and Ranking Members calling for the adoption of five provisions to the FY2-12 National Defense Authorization Act to “ensure zero tolerance for sexual assault in the ranks.” The provisions would “clarify victim access to legal counsel, record maintenance and confidentiality, and expedite unit or station transfer.”
Congresswoman Slaughter stated, “Imagine being a victim of rape while serving in the military, and being forced to face your attacker each and every day in order to continue doing your job. That is what members of our armed forces have experienced, and will continue to experience if we don’t do something to change the situation. It’s preposterous and incredibly unjust to the individuals who choose to serve our country so proudly each day.”
According to a 2003 study by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, at least one-third of all women veterans have experienced rape or sexual assault during their service primarily from US service personnel, and thirty percent of military women experience domestic violence. Moreover, rape occurs in the military nearly twice as often as in the civilian world.
Statement of Louise Slaughter 12/5/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/17/11