Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillén’s tragic death and disappearance reflect a larger problem in the military – a culture where sexual harassment and assault are swept under the rug. After the young soldier went missing in April, thousands of service members and veterans took to social media to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment in the military.
Spc. Vanessa Guillén’s family met with President Trump Thursday, July 30, 2020 to discuss a sex-misconduct bill named after her. The #IAmVanessaGuillen bill aims to facilitate the reporting sexual harassment and assault in the military, along with the creation of an independent entity to which service members can report. This third-party agency would allow service members to report instances of harassment and assault outside their chain of command.
Reports of Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Military Increasing
Up 3% from 2018, the Defense Department’s 2019 report on sexual assault in the military said there were 7,825 sexual assault reports involving service members as victims or subjects. While there’s an increasing in reporting, this doesn’t necessarily reflect an increase in instances.
Surveys on prevalence of harassment and assault are only conducted every other year. Restricted reports increased by 17%, meaning 2,126 survivors confidentially disclosed the assault without launching an official investigation.
Those advocating for the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill point to this 17% increase to demonstrate “a clear lack of faith in the chain-of-command.” One of the aims of the #IAmVanessaGuillen Bill is to make it easier and safer for service members to report assault.
Consult with an Accomplished Sexual Harassment Law Firm in California
Dedicated sexual harassment lawyers at Makarem & Associates in California are best placed to handle your claim and help you obtain maximum damages, if you are a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace or at your residence as a tenant. Get in touch with Makarem & Associates for a free consultation over the phone at 310-312-0299 or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.
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