Harman Renews Push to Prevent Sexual Assult in Military
Re-introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Root Out Permissive Culture and Prosecute “Rapists in the Ranks”
January 27, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Chair of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee, and Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH), Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today reintroduced legislation directing the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent rape and sexual assault in the military, and to vigorously prosecute those who commit such crimes. First introduced in the 110th Congress, a companion bill to the Harman-Turner legislation was introduced in the Senate by former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).
“Where is the outrage when a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire? Our military leaders must take decisive action by prosecuting perpetrators more vigorously and put an end to the permissive culture that says, ‘boys will be boys,’” said Harman. “We are making clear to the new White House and Pentagon that this crisis must end.”
“The prevalence of rape and sexual assault in the military is not only malignant – it affects our mission success and the long-term health of our national security apparatus,” added Harman.
“Women serving in our Armed Forces who come forward and report a sexual assault must be protected from their alleged attackers,” Rep. Turner said. “DOD’s record of protecting women who report a rape and prosecute their case is shocking and unacceptable. I believe the legislation that Congresswoman Harman and I have put forward is a critical step in helping to solve this problem.”
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