Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-01-08

Congress Hears Testimony on Sexual Assault in the Military

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs held a hearing on sexual assault in the military. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA) both testified. Mother of slain Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, Mary Lauterbach, and an American Red Cross worker who was raped while serving on a U.S. Base in Korea, Ingrid Torres, testified about their personal experiences. Dr. Kaye Whitley, director of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was absent from the hearing after being ordered by her Pentagon superiors to ignore a congressional subpoena.

The Department of Defense’s Fourth Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military cites 2,688 reported cases of sexual assault by military personnel in fiscal year 2007. Report rates are suspected to be low, and according to the DOD only 8% of those investigated for sexual assault were referred to courts martial. In the civil courts 40% of arrested rape suspects are prosecuted. In her testimony, Rep. Harman described her conversations with victims of sexual assault and physicians at a Veteran Affairs hospital in California, reporting that the doctors told her that 41% of female veterans they had treated were sexually assaulted while in the military and that 29% were raped.

Rep. Harman introduced a bill earlier this week entitled Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding sexual assaults and rape in the military. The bill urges the DOD to create a comprehensive strategy to investigate and prosecute sexual assault in the military and to improve protections for sexual assault victims once assaults are reported. At the hearing, Rep. Slaughter announced her intention to reintroduce The Military Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Act, which would create an Office of Victim Advocates within the DOD, improve counseling programs and confidentiality policies, and standardize the procedures for reporting and prosecuting perpetrators of sexual assault.

Media Resources: Congresswoman Jane Harman Testimony 7/31/08; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter 7/31/08; Congresswoman Jane Harman Press Release 7/29/08;Department of Defense Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, March 2008; CNN.com 7/31/08; RH Reality Check 7/31/08


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Mandate Consent Education in Public Schools - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .
 
2/26/2015 President Obama Pushed for Immigration Reform at a Florida International University Town Hall - President Obama attended an immigration town hall at Florida International University yesterday to discuss immigration policy. . . .
 
2/25/2015 Obama Just Vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline, But The Fight Isn't Over - President Obama used his executive powers to veto the highly contentious Keystone XL pipeline construction proposal yesterday. . . .