Joyce, Co-Chairs of Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence Hold Roundtable on Sexual Assault in the Military

WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and his fellow co-chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, Representatives John Katko (NY-24), Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Jackie Speier (CA-14), held a roundtable to address Military Sexual Trauma (MST). 

In May, the Department of Defense (DOD) released its Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. The report found that roughly 20,500 service members — 13,000 women and 7,500 men — across the 5 branches experienced some form of assault while serving in the military in 2018. This is a startling increase from the 14,900 service members who reported similar incidents in 2016.

“During my more than 25 years as a prosecutor, I encountered my fair share of terrible crimes, but few haunt me more than those of sexual violence,” said Dave. “No one should have to experience any form of sexual violence or harassment – especially those who sacrifice so much to serve our country. We can and must do more. I co-founded this task force to raise awareness about the harsh realities of sexual violence, support the victims of these heinous crimes and crack down on those who commit them. With this roundtable, we are following through on that mission.” 

For this important conversation, the Task Force was joined by:

  • Nate Galbreath, Acting Director of the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office
  • Glenna Tinney, co-chair of the DOD/VA Subcommittee of the National Task Force Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
  • Jane Stapleton, Co-Director, Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire
  • Ryan Guilds, Attorney at Arnold & Porter and member of the Protect Our Defenders advisory board
  • Dorothy Edwards, President of Alteristic

Specifically, Dave pointed out that while troops are experiencing an increased amount of sexual violence on an annual basis, the reporting rate for these assaults seems to be decreasing. He pressed the panelists on what can be done to boost troops’ confidence that the military’s response to a reported sexual assault will be victim-centered, that the report will be fairly evaluated, and that if guilty, the perpetrator will be brought to justice.

To watch a portion of Dave’s remarks during the roundtable, click here

To watch the roundtable in its entirety, click here

To read the joint press release on the roundtable from the Task Force, click here

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