Freshman Congresswoman joins bipartisan discussion with Administration senior advisors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the only Republican freshman, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) was invited to join a bipartisan meeting with White House senior advisers to discuss legislation geared toward reducing military sexual violence, including her sponsored bill on whistle blower protections for military sexual assault victims.
“It was a privilege to join my colleagues and discuss important measures that will encourage reporting and prevent future cases of sexual assault in the military,” said Walorski, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Today’s meeting was a necessary step toward strategizing a bipartisan approach to pass legislation that protects our servicemembers and eradicates this frightening situation.”
Walorski introduced a bipartisan bill with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) providing whistleblower protections for survivors of military sexual violence. The bill strengthens existing protection laws to clarify that victims of sexual crimes are protected from punishment for reporting sexual assault.
During fiscal year 2011, the Department of Defense reported an estimated 19,000 victims of sexual violence in the military, but only 2,723 servicemembers filed a report of sexual assault. The Department of Defense also found that victims often don’t come forward because they worry about retaliation or fear that reporting a fellow servicemember may negatively impact their career. On Tuesday, the Pentagon released a new report stating a disturbing rise in sexual assault in the military.