We are Pittsburgh area civilians and veterans who have joined together to demand an end to sexual assault in the military. Many of us are activists in peace and human rights organizations. In 2012 the Department of Defense estimated that 26,000 male and female veterans were raped or otherwise sexually assaulted. The Pentagon estimates that as few as one in ten attacks are reported, so it is likely that this number is significantly higher. To help stop this growing crisis the Pittsburgh-based Stop Sexual Assault in the Military group was formed.
Our goals and purpose:
-We will support legislation that will effectively aid victims in reporting crimes, provide for experts in this field to investigate and prosecute the accused, protect the rights of victims and the accused, and provide for appropriately severe punishment for the guilty. Effective legislation must include taking this process out of the normal chain of command.
- Support the victims’ services within the military and in our community.
- Seek to warn potential recruits, female and male, that enlisting in any branch of the US military puts them at high risk of being sexually assaulted.
- Encourage ROTC programs to engage in serious sexual harassment and assault training.
- Engage in direct action—peaceful demonstrations—when appropriate to draw attention to our issues and apply pressure on the powers that be.
- Engage the regional and campus media to continue covering the issue and editorially endorsing effective legislative and other actions to address sexual assault.
-Host screenings of Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War to expose the issue.
-Reach out to and cooperate with local and national groups concerned with this issue.