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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

I found this testimony the other day:

While stationed on Miramar and living off base with my Marine husband, I received a couple of black eyes that were reported.  I was made to leave my home and move into the barracks without my newborn daughter.  During visitation I had to go to my husband’s residence to see my daughter.  We got into a verbal fight and when I tried to leave he pinned me up against a door breaking my ribs…  I reported it to my command and was told nothing could be done (because) it happened off base. The ER called the police and filed a report.  The next week I went to my husband’s house to pick up my daughter and he sent me back to the ER. This was reported. Finally after much persuasion by the counseling center a board conducted an investigation concluding that there was enough evidence to substantiate that my husband did commit these crimes, level 4 out of 5. No disciplinary action was taken and he was then promoted to CPL and given an honorable discharge at the end of his tour.”

Countless military women and military spouses are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. It is estimated that rates of marital abuse in the military are two to five times higher than civilian rates of domestic violence. Moreover, one in three women in the military will be sexually assaulted during their tour of duty.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has introduced legislation called “The Military Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Act” to address this national epidemic and stop the violence against military women and military families.

Among other things, the bill would:

Establish an “Office of the Victims’ Advocate” to facilitate access to services for victims of domestic or family violence, sexual assault, and stalking in the military;

Support crisis intervention services for victims of such violence and provide training on prevention of such violence;

Provide for the employment of a sexual assault nurse examiner, a psychiatrist, and a complimentary clinical team at each DOD military treatment facility; and

Specify circumstances under which military law enforcement officers shall arrest a person for committing domestic violence.

This legislation has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security but no action has been taken on it.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Go to:  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h840/show and indicate your support for the bill.

Go to:  http://www.opencongress.org/people/representatives and determine who your Member of Congress is.  Then, email him or her and ask them to “co-sponsor” this bill.

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