Ninety Members Of Congress Join Together To Demand Investigation Into Vanessa's Case
"The U.S. Military has a responsibility to assure the safety and well-being of the young women and men that take an oath to defend this country."
Nearly a hundred members of Congress have joined together to demand the Defense Department conduct an independent investigation into the Army's handling of Vanessa Guillen's case.
The Congressional movement was spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Representative Jackie Speier of California, who drafted a letter demanding the Pentagon launch a "full and independent investigation" not only into Vanessa's case, but into SHARP, the army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program.
The congresswomen blasted the army for their "shortcomings" in preventing sexual harassment and assault. They wrote that these issues are widespread, "not limited to a single case or installation," and that they will continue to work to make "the military a safer place for all." The army still denies that Vanessa was sexually harassed.
Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Vanessa's home state, wrote a follow-up letter in support of Gillibrand and Speier's letter. 87 other members of Congress signed it.
"We are deeply disturbed," reads the letter. "The U.S. Military has a responsibility to assure the safety and well-being of the young women and men that take an oath to defend this country. [Vaness Guillen] was tragically failed by the Army."
Today, 87 of my colleagues joined me in expressing support for @RepSpeier and @SenGillibrand’s request for the @DeptofDefense Acting Inspector General to conduct an independent investigation into Fort Hood’s handling of SPC Vanessa Guillen’s case.#JusticeForVanessaGuillen pic.twitter.com/5mZJa4A2iF— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) July 6, 2020
Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois has called for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to launch its own investigation into SHARP, writing that "recent high-profile incidents raise troubling questions about whether SHARP is achieving its objectives, let alone preventing sexual harassment and assault."
Thousands of servicewomen, even some men, have come forward to share their own experiences with sexual harassment, publishing their pictures and stories to social media with the hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen. Their experiences are infuriating, and heartbreaking.
"I was genuinely scared to make it public and let my command know what happened. I knew it would be turned around to be my fault somehow. I was unfortunately correct," wrote a servicewoman on Facebook.
"Commands just sweep it under the rug."
It's working, keep calling, keep emailing, keep DEMANDING A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION: