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

4/20/2015 Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government - President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani. . . .
 
4/17/2015 Senate Passes Compromise Bill Increasing Federal Funding for Abstinence-Only Sex Education - The Senate overwhelmingly approved of HR 2 on Tuesday, a $200 billion package that included an enormous increase of federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) curricula. The US Senate voted 92-8 to pass HR 2, which has been known as the "doc fix" for Medicaid reimbursement rates, as well as many other health care provisions. . . .
 
4/16/2015 March2Justice Protesters Embark on 250-Mile March to Protest Police Brutality - Marchers are ending an eight-day journey across 250 miles and five states to deliver anti-profiling and police-force-militarization legislation from New York City to Washington, D.C. . . .