Target: U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter
Goal: Protect service members reporting sexual assault and prevent retaliation by convicting attackers.
A recent Human Rights Watch investigation reports that U.S. service members who report sexual assault often experience retaliation. Despite the efforts of the Department of Defense to address the issue of sexual assault in the military, little has been done to protect victims and prevent retaliation.
The 18-month investigation discovered that male and female service members who experience sexual assault are twelve times more likely to experience a form of retaliation than it is for attacker to be convicted of a sexual offense. The retaliation can take the form of harassment, poor work assignments, vandalism, threats, and loss of promotion opportunities.
The threat of retaliation is one that is felt by many sexual assault victims. Frequent retaliation makes victims of sexual assault hesitant to report sexual assault. With the threat of physical harm or a tense work environment, many victims decide to forego reporting the attack. The Department of Defense reports that 62 percent of those who report sexual assault also experience a type of retaliation.
Justice must be brought to all service members who experience sexual assault. They deserve the right to have a positive work environment and to feel safe. If people feel as though they cannot report an attack, there will be no safety for service members. Please support this petition to punish those who commit sexual attacks and retaliate against victims.
Dear Secretary of Defense Carter,
The United States service members are an integral part of this country. They protect our freedom and work endlessly to provide a safe life for U.S. citizens. It is the duty of this country to also protect their freedom and personal rights.
U.S. service members are sexually assaulted all too frequently. Men and women alike are finding themselves a victim of a sexual crime, and are too afraid to report it due to retaliation. This retaliation can take the form of physical threat, vandalism, and harassment.
If service members are afraid to report sexual crimes, there will be more victims and no justice for them. Please punish those who commit sexual assault and retaliate against victims. This is a basic human right, to feel safe and to not have the threat of bodily harm. The men and women who serve this country deserve that.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lenny Ignelzi