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The most recent Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Annual Report released May 2013 (http://www.sapr.mil/index.php/annual-reports) states that at least 26,000 military service members were sexually assaulted in 2012. Every few months, members of the United States Congress call survivors to Washington, D.C. to testify. We go, hoping for real change, we describe what was done to us, the consequential suffering and struggles the assaults have caused, not only in our lives but the lives of our loved ones. Then, Congress does nothing…and awhile later, they ask for more of us to testify. Since the report and its 26,000 appeared to catch the attention of Congress, perhaps they will listen and take significant action if they hear from us in huge numbers, like 26,000. We invite you to participate in the exciting and unique “26,000-Letter Project.”
Goals and Objectives
Our aim is to tell Congress about:
1. Care of the victim when they report the assault
To pass a bill similar to the MJIA that removes the reporting and adjudication of the Sexual crimes out of the hands of commanders
2. Clear the backlog of current claims that affects survivors from all era
All claims with be counted and reported. Proposed rule changes will not affect current claims already in the system
3. Ease the level of proof needed for MST versus combat related PTSD.
Often MST crimes go unreported or when those crimes are reported, the investigation is "sanitized" making proof hard to come by. Passing The Ruth Moore Act or similar legislation to make the level of proof on par with combat claims
4. Improve the care and treatment options for MST related PTSD diagnosis by hiring staff specifically trained in trauma therapy
Pass the Caregiver Act, or similar legislation have gender specific treatment for MST