August 13, 2020         
Back-to-School Must Include a Renewed Focus on Children's Vision   •   Baron & Budd Shareholder Carla Burke Pickrel Named to Top 25 National Women Trial Lawyers   •   Grant Thornton names Weird Enough Productions as next Purple Paladin   •   New CareerOneStop Website Brings Career Exploration Tools into Secure Facilities   •   Life Time Launches Nationwide Distance Learning Support Camp to Help Families as School Starts This Fall   •   Revolve Group Announces Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results   •   Pornhub Celebrates International Female Orgasm Day by Pausing Videos Most Viewed by Straight Men at 40% to Shed Light on Gender   •   Phased-in Approach to Re-opening Schools a Solid Plan—CUPE BC   •   COVID-19 Likely to Usher in “Decade of the Home,” According to Accenture Survey Research   •   Social Security Celebrates 85th Anniversary, Providing Economic Security   •   Greenberg Traurig's Natalie Carter Selected as Finalist for 2020 Black British Business Awards   •   Evening Bone Density Scan Appointments to Screen for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia Now Available at Women's Excellence of Southeas   •   Housing Rights Advocates Take on Avalon Bay Communities in a Socially-Distant Protest   •   Thermo Fisher Scientific Supports COVID-19 Testing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Seeking to Provide a Safe Ret   •   Latinas in Aviation Book Breaks Through Cultural Sound Barrier; Historic Work Details 22 Authors' Ascending Achievements, Contri   •   Facedrive Enters Into Strategic Partnership and Investment Agreement With Tally, Gamification Platform Founded by Super Bowl-win   •   PSO: Missouri School Districts Approving Some Applications for Full-Time Online Public Schools While Thousands of Students Remai   •   Kemper Donates $200,000 to UnidosUS COVID-19 Fund   •   Saving kids from drowning, WUANAP the Smart LifeCollar is now available for purchase   •   Kensington Teams Up with Microsoft to Create the Only Belt-Clip Case Solution Designed Exclusively for Surface Duo
Bookmark and Share

ACLU Sues Military Over Sexual Assaults

 NEW HAVEN, CT – The Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Connecticut have filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut against the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs for their failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests seeking government records documenting incidents of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military. Tens of thousands of service members each year are estimated to have experienced some form of military sexual trauma (MST). These acts occur nearly twice as often within military ranks as they do within civilian society.

"The government's refusal to even take the first step of providing comprehensive and accurate information about the sexual trauma inflicted upon our women and men in uniform, and the treatment and benefits MST survivors receive after service, is all too telling," said Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain and Executive Director of SWAN. "The DOD and VA should put the interests of service members first and expose information on the extent of sexual trauma in the military to the sanitizing light of day."

The lawsuit states that the goal of the lawsuit is to "obtain the release of records on a matter of public concern, namely, the prevalence of MST within the armed services, the policies of the DOD and VA regarding MST and other related disabilities, and the nature of each agency's response to MST."

"The known statistics on military sexual trauma suggest that sexual abuse is all too prevalent in our military," said Sandra Park, staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project. "But we know that many service members who suffer from abuse are not receiving the treatment they need. The truth about the extent of this abuse and what has been done to address it must be made known."

MST is particularly widespread among servicewomen, many of whom struggle to return to civilian life after suffering sexual assault or harassment while serving. While the number of homeless veterans has declined over the past 10 years, the number of homeless women veterans has doubled. In fact, 40 percent of homeless women veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving in the armed forces.

Survivors' VA disability claims are often rejected because they cannot prove an initial assault or rape, even if the veteran has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by a VA military sexual trauma counselor.

"The government is failing to care for the overwhelming number of women who so desperately need help coping with something as devastating as rape, sexual assault and harassment," said Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of the ACLU of Connecticut. "These women have already put their lives on the line by serving their country. The least that the government can do is disclose the scope of the problem."

Counsel on the case include William Bornstein, Taylor Asen and Michael Wishnie of the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic; Park and Lenora Lapidus of the ACLU Women's Rights Project; and Sandra Staub of the ACLU of Connecticut.

A copy of the lawsuit can be 
found here


STORY TAGS: WOMEN, MINORITIES, DISCRIMINATION, DIVERSITY, FEMALE, UNDERREPRESENTED, EQUALITY, GENDER BIAS, EQUALITY

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News