The United States is facing an epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military. The Department of Defense estimates that there were 26,000 incidences in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Due to a culture heavy on retaliation and light on prosecution, only 13.5 percent of those were reported. Military service is one of our nation’s highest callings. Congresswoman Speier believes we cannot, as a country, allow violent criminals to besmirch the honor of the Armed Forces and certainly cannot condone a system that is designed to protect the perpetrators and punish the survivors.
On April 17, 2013 Congresswoman Speier re-introduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act – or STOP Act - which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.
Are you a survivor of rape or sexual assault in the military? Congresswoman Speier is personally inviting you to share your story by e-mailing email@example.com. If you choose to share your experience with the Congresswoman, please indicate whether or not you are willing to give her your permission to share it on the House floor.
Opinion Pieces by Congresswoman Speier: