Congress again stalls on push to change the way military handles sex crimes

A nationwide push to change the way the military handles sex crimes is continuing to stall in Congress, despite widespread outrage after the death of an Army service member and Westchester native.

News 12 Staff

Jul 29, 2020, 6:48 PM

Updated 1,397 days ago

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A nationwide push to change the way the military handles sex crimes is continuing to stall in Congress, despite widespread outrage after the death of an Army service member and Westchester native.
Vanessa Guillen was bludgeoned to death and found dismembered in June outside of Fort Hood. The 20-year-old was killed after alleged claims of sexual harassment.
“It's really not moving in the right direction and I don't think the command is taking it seriously," says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Sen. Gillibrand says she wants Congress to change the way military sex crimes are handled and sponsored the Military Justice Improvement Act to remove a victim's chain of command when it comes to reporting crimes.
Gillibrand says the bill could have been brought to vote last week, but that it was denied by Senate leaders despite national outrage surrounding Guillen's murder and the military's alleged mishandling of the case.
In the meantime, the Department of Defense reports a "massive increase" in sexual assaults but fewer trials than ever before.
Military sexual trauma advocate Janelle Mendez says that is not surprising
"Anyone not fitting into the stereotype of a strong male with a masculine identity is vulnerable," says Mendez.
Mendez wants a Military Industry Regulatory Authority to review sex crimes and protect survivors.
Thousands of protesters are headed to the nation's capital for a rally Thursday outside of the White House calling for justice for Guillen.
 
 
 


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