Washington Senator Patty Murray was in Seattle Friday discussing her legislation aimed at combating military sexual assault.
The latest efforts follow a Department of Defense report which estimates that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012. Only 3,700 cases of assault were reported.
Anglea Arellano reported an assault while serving in the Marine Corps. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan, in the 90’s she was raped by a Marine officer after a football game.
Investigators accused Arellano of lying about it and punished her.
“I received two weeks barracks restriction, two weeks extra duty and two months reduced pay," Arellano says. "And the most that he got for what he did was they transferred him off our base to another base in Okinawa."
Senator Murray and others in Congress have introduced legislation to force the Department of Defense to make changes to the system. Murray’s bill would increase victims support and prohibit sexual contact between instructors and trainees during basic training and for 30 days after.
It would also require that sexual assault cases be referred to the next level of authority for court marital if there’s a conflict of interest in the immediate chain of command.
Copyright 2013 KUOW