Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hooray for Rep. Louise Slaughter

Louise Slaughter is my representative, and yet again she is taking a strong stand on an important issue.

Last week she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommitte on sexual assault in the military. She said that in 2003:
The sheer number of incidents was disturbing. More than that, however,the military's responses to victims who came forward were antiquated, often punishing the victim rather than the perpetrator. It was shameful.

She goes on to commend Congress and the DoD for recent attention to sexual assault. However, she says that changes in reporting procedures have obscured the gathering of statistics so that there is no accurate estimate of whether the problem is actually getting better.

Failure to uniformly gather and report information related to the investigation and disposition of sexual assault claims complicates Congressional policy-based efforts to address sexual assault in the military and frustrates the purpose of the Department of Defense’s existing programs.
This week, in a column for the Huffington Post, Slaughter shares her opinion of the sincerity of the Department of Defense's participation:
Kaye Whitley, director of the Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, had been subpoenaed to testify at Thursday's hearing, but apparently Department of Defense officials instructed her to stay away from the hearing. I am very disturbed by the DoD's resistance to Congressional oversight on sexual assault.
Kudos to Slaughter for making this an issue before Congress and for publicizing the inadequate procedures for reporting sexual assault in the military.
Quite simply, the current structure makes women who have suffered sexual assault choose between confidentiality and justice.

It is unconscionable that women who serve their country in the military should have to make that decision. For three Congresses, I have introduced the Military Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Act. This legislation will ensure greater protections for service members and their families if they become victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.


Anonymous said...

I am a MALE survivor of 'military sexual trauma' (MST) and I have been writing about my experience as a survivor who has lived his life with PTSD .
To be more detailed-I am a rape survivor,raped at age 18-repeatedly,being told by an officer to "get used to it" when I reported it.
I was in a detention barrack-which answers his response.
There was no just reason for me to be there-yet this crime was commited.
I lived with the pain and agoney of loss-many losses,over 35 years before my story was discovered and I entered treatment at the local VA.
I wished I never said a word-but now that I have and discovered the same attitudes from 1970 exist today...I was met with remarks such as "one would not think homosexuals need to rape each other" and "they were blacks",a bigots remark assuming my attacker race,as if race is a key issue in this kind of assault.
It angered me enough to begin writing about it-now writing is not enough.
I want to put this in Congress's face too.
I'm not an elected official-I am a survivor-a MALE survivor.
I want to educate anyone I can that these assaults are not limited to age or gender or civilian status,that these incidents are a crime of great devestation to the victim.
I have decided to attempt to walk to Washington from my home in Florida and in route I hope to raise awareness to MST and Male victims and how we are treated once we are discharged from the military and put into the hands of the Veterans Administration.
A sad state of affairs.

Evelyn Brister said...

A sad state of affairs indeed. I hope that with the latest war there will be more awareness of and support for our returning veterans. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same LOUISE SLAUGHTER that just added the $$$$ for the "WOOL RESEARCH" to the rescue plan. She should be voted out, I heard here on c-span from her OWN MOUTH that she added the wool research to the rescue plan and it was for a "personal friend" of hers that owns a men's suit company. How dare she, what kind of person is she that could add an additional few MILLION to the rescue plan, just to help a "personal friend" of hers who owns his own suit company.

She should be ousted immediately, she's a criminal from adding that pork to the rescue plan. She was very proud of it, when a congressman from Ohio questioned the Committee of Rules in regards to the added pork, she was the first one to say that the wool research was her add on, for her a personal favor.

She is sickening.

Evelyn Brister said...

It is a shame that so many bills now are loaded down with pork in order to make them palatable. We ought to have a different system.

However, if all guilty senators and representatives were ousted, we'd have no one doing the good work that Louise Slaughter does. This is not, by the way, an issue just for Democrats. Both parties are involved.

A news report is here:

Please keep comments on the post topics.