House Passes Bill Extending Whistleblower Protections to Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military

Washington, Jun 28, 2013 -

Sexual violence in the military is a disturbing and, unfortunately, growing problem. According to data from the Department of Defense the number of reported sexual assaults rose 64% from 2006 to 2011. However, the actual number of assaults that have occurred is much higher as fewer than 20% of assaults are reported. The fear of retaliation for reporting these horrific acts is far too common, discouraging victims from coming forward. It has been reported that 62% of servicemembers who have been assaulted have experienced some form of retaliation. This is unacceptable.

This week, the House passed a measure to extend whistleblower protections to victims of sexual violence in the military in order to encourage safe reporting. Specifically, the bill would require the Inspectors General of the military departments to investigate acts of retaliation against servicemembers who report such heinous acts. I strongly supported this legislation, which is a critical step to eliminating the scourge of sexual assault and violence in the Armed Services.

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