In a written statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 23, Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the across-the-board budget cuts mandated as part of the sequester could hurt their Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program “from slowing hiring actions, to delaying lab results which hinders our ability to provide resolution for victims.”It's particularly important that the Army be able to invest in dealing with sexual assault since it's had the highest rate of reported sexual assault in the military in recent years; as of April, "the Army planned to add 829 full-time military and civilian sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to combat the problem within the branch." While an Army spokesman says that "the Army will continue provide care, support and treatment for" sexual assault victims, it's clear that a greater investment is sorely needed to ensure that there aren't so damn many victims to support and treat. If the sequester prevents that, then military rape is yet another damage Republicans have caused by insisting on cuts over closing corporate tax loopholes.
Thanks to congressional Republicans, the Army's fight against sexual assault may be weakened.
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