Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sexual Assault In The Military

In the most recent report from the Department of Defense said there were 3,158 reports of sexual
assault involving military members in 2010.

That was a slight decrease from the 3,230 cases reported in 2009. Strangely DoD made a highlight
of this figure as an 11 percent increase over 2008, saying that "the reporting message is
resonating with service members and is part of this increase."

It has been estimated that the 3,158 reported assaults are only 15 percent of all sexual assaults
last year.

Two members of the Maine Congressional Delegation have introduced legislation that will help
anyone who suffers a sexual assault.

Senator Susan Collins R-Maine with Senator Kerry D-Mass on May 18, introduced legislation
that will strengthen protections for service members who are victims of sexual assault. The
Defense Sexual Trauma Response, Oversight and Good Governance Act (The Defense
Strong Act). More information on this legislation can be found on Senator Collins' website
Senator Collins, Defense Strong Act

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree D-1Maine introduced H.R.930 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the disability compensation evaluation procedure of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or mental health conditions related to military sexual trauma. Text of the bill can be found here
Congresswoman Pingree-H.R.630

Congresswoman Pingree is working to persuade the Department of Veterans Affairs to put into
effect administratively, would ease the path to needed benefits for veterans who are ailing from
post-sexual trauma from their time in the military.

More information on the issue of sexual assault in the military, and these two pieces of
Collins and Pingree Introduce Legislation on Sexual Assault in the Military 

The Department of Defense, and The Department of Veterans Affairs are working to improve
help for victims of assault, and also to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault.

While sexual assault is not acceptable in any place at any time and offenders should be punished
to the maximum extent possible. In the military, where your life depends on those around you,
and they depend on you, sexual assault is something that should never happen.

And many times assaults are not reported out of fear of reprisal, fear of what others will say, fear
of receiving bad performance reports.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996