Rep. Speier: Female soldiers ordered to testify on behalf of accused serial rapist
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) for the tenth time on Tuesday called on Congress to address the pervasive problem of sexual harassment and rape in the U.S. military.
To call attention to the problem, she has been telling the stories of woman who were sexually harassed and assaulted while serving in the military.
Speier said female soldiers had been threatened by their commanding officers if they didn’t testify on behalf of a soldier who was accused of raping several women and indecently assaulting others.
Her tenth speech came the same day the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on sexual harassment in the military.
The report found that 82 of 583 servicemembers, about 7 percent, had been sexually harassed in the last year, but only 4 reported it. Twenty-one percent of women and 3 percent of men said they had been harassed sexually.
“Several servicemembers observed that reporting an incident of sexual harassment is perceived as something that can ruin your reputation,” the report says. “A junior enlisted female observed that if you report sexual harassment, you won’t get promoted. A junior officer female commented that some people choose not to report that they have been sexually harassed because they don’t want the incident to go public. Others fear that if they make a complaint, they will be retaliated against.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: