Transcript for New Bill to Combat Military Sexual Assaults
Good morning I'm congresswoman Jackie spear from California. And I'm here to deliver. A seemingly. Innocuous message. Take an aspirin and go to -- Doubt that kind of advice may be good for a headache. But when that's the prescription. By the military. To one of its soldiers that he's been a victim of assault or rape. Take an aspirin and go to -- We've got a problem. It's what Terry Odom. A young marine was told. After her superior officer. Raped and mutilated her. Take an aspirin and go to that. Other victims have been told to sleep it off to work out -- differences. Over the years. The response. Have varied. Back. In the end the message has always been the thing. Don't push this complaint. I want to remind all of the survivors. That's. You are courageous by your presence here. That by being here you are giving voices. To tens of thousands of victims across this country. That had been violated as well. And that the pursuit. Of justice. Never ends. This silent epidemic is over. And your voice and we will be heard. Despite 25 years. Our task force recommendations. Of pentagon studies. -- congressional hearings. Rapes and sexual assaults in the military continue -- abated. But 2010. Department of Defense survey. Active duty members. Revealed that only a small percentage. Of the 191000. Victims. Of sexual assault and rape in the military. Actually report the crime. And that percentage is thirteen point 5%. And -- that percentage. Only. 8%. Actually. Lead to prosecutions. In the end only 465. Service members were administratively. Discharged or punished. Through the courts martial process. That's about 2.5. Percent. Of the total suspected acts of sexual assault and -- -- that may be a good percentage for a direct mail response. But it's unacceptable. In the justice system. Men and women who had been sexually abused in the military. Have come to realize that military. Justice. Is -- -- -- They are forced to live with their trauma in secret. And that -- subjects them to a second act of victimization. They suffer while their attackers. Go unpunished. Instead of justice. We end up with increased diagnosis is PT SD among victims who know what it's right. To be told to shut up. And take an aspirin. It will only hurt. For a lifetime. The failure to respond in a judicial manner to sexual assaults is more than an injustice. It is according to some of our military leaders. Threats to our military readiness. Members of military unit survive on the code of watching out for each other. -- sexual assaults and rapes are highest. Ignored. Or treated lightly. Trust in a unit is compromised. Along with its collective readiness to engage the enemy.
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