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A #MeToo Moment Emerges for Military Women After Soldier’s Killing

There have been fights on Capitol Hill over modifications to the best way these circumstances are adjudicated. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, and Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, have repeatedly tried to cross laws that might give navy prosecutors — somewhat than commanders — the ability to resolve which sexual assaults to strive within the navy.

A brand new twist within the debate is the inclusion of younger, feminine veterans who attended elite service academies.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, and Ms. Luria this month gave emotional testimony throughout a House Armed Services Committee listening to in assist of a measure to create a pilot Office of the Chief Prosecutor on the academies for such incidents. Seven Republicans, lots of whom had been initially resistant, voted for the modification to assist it cross out of committee.

“I was harassed in the Navy and the academy,” mentioned Ms. Sherrill, who went to the Naval Academy and served as a Navy helicopter pilot. “I have had so many friends come to me who tried to get justice who could not get it through the chain of command. I think Vanessa has just sort of brought so many of those emotions to a head.”

The surge of curiosity by nonmilitary ladies within the difficulty has been some of the heartening developments to stem from the tragedy, advocates for Specialist Guillen say.

“We are now able to relate to the civilian community and say, ‘Yeah, guys, this is happening, this has always been happening,’” mentioned Army Capt. Victoria Kositz, a West Point graduate. “I see a shift in the conversation from ‘You should have known going into the military,’ to ‘This is an outrage, let’s make sure it never happens again.’”

Captain Kositz mentioned that whereas she was at West Point, a freshman scholar was raped in her room and, when it was reported, “Her cadet chain of command behind her back said she was a drama queen.” While serving at Fort Bragg, N.C., the place she was the one lady in her platoon, a bunch of sergeants printed out an image of her in a swimsuit from her Facebook account and handed it round. One of them cornered her at a social gathering at a bar and made an obscene comment, she mentioned. She slapped him, and was given a letter of reprimand that, she mentioned, “ruined my time at that post.”

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