Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Representing California’s 46th Congressional District
STATEMENT, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2013
MEDIA CONTACTS: Barb Solish, 202-226-8373, Barb.Solish@mail.house.gov
REP. SANCHEZ RESPONDS TO NEW MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT NUMBERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), founder and co-chair of the Women in the Military Caucus and senior member of the Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to a Department of Defense report indicating a sharp increase in the number of sexual assault complaints in the military this year. There were 3,553 sexual assault complaints from October 2012 through June 2013, compared to 2,434 over the same period the previous year.
“Our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect us. Numbers like these are proof we need to keep working and fighting to protect them, too.
“Although it is unclear if the cause of the sharp rise of sexual assault reports in the military last year represents an increase in attacks or in reporting or both, one thing is clear: one assault is one too many.
“Earlier this year the House approved our annual defense bill, which included my proposal requiring commanders to include sexual harassment in performance evaluations to track and prevent further misconduct. As the Senate debates their own version of the bill, I am encouraged by further reforms to prevent assaults and protect victims in our armed services.
“However, I continue to believe military commanders must be held accountable for the climate and safety of their units. It is impossible to hold someone accountable for fixing a problem when you strip them of their responsibilities and ability to do so.”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and parts of the cities of Garden Grove and Orange in Orange County. She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the second ranked Democrat on the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Sanchez is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.
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