We are asking that Congress educate themselves more on issues of sexual assault and harassment in the military and that they become vocal leaders in holding the military accountable for stopping rape in the ranks.The timing of the conference is set to coincidence with the mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act. Though the Pentagon recently initiated some administrative changes which were greeted favorably by advocates, there is still much work to do, as the latest Department of Defense report detailed. The annual NDAA is the ideal vehicle for Congress to hold the military accountable. More on this conference and its aims here.
This is an issue that affects men and women service-wide. The reforms and improvements made thus far have been spearheaded by a relatively small group of legislators, most of them being on the Armed Services committee. It is critical that Congress understand that the issue of military sexual violence affects everyone, including veterans and families in their districts that might not have a military presence.
My conversation with them will be posted later today.
"They have the audacity to talk about zero-tolerance policy on sex-assault on the military, when they are not even close."
Senator Amy Klobuchar discussed her work in the Senate on a bill requiring military to maintain records of assault incidents for 50 years (rather than the previous standard of a mere 18 months). Referencing the quick work of rounding of the 17 female senators, "That's why we need a few more women in the Senate."
I'm grateful to have been invited to witness this day, more updates to be posted throughout the day. Pictures may be used with credit. The event can be followed on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #truthandjustice.