We are finally seeing some progress with legislation to address failures in handling sex crimes and murder in the military. In large part, the mishandling of Vanessa Guillen’s murder and social media explosion on the case exposed problems and made this possible.
Find the program for the Second Military #MeToo Reaches Ft. Bragg Panel – 1/7/21 at Military_MeToo_Reaches_Ft._Bragg_Program.v5. Please download or save for your own use.
The disappearance and murder of Vanessa Guillen at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas sparked a military #MeToo movement that is forcing military-wide change. The Secretary of the Army went public with the Ft. Hood report results and promised that the changes are reaching everywhere. This panel has experts and individuals talk about issues specifically at Ft. Bragg that need to be addressed. The first round of changes is due in March 2021.
Problems in handling of sex crimes in the military are well documented – from rarely punishing those accused of sexual assault, to harassing and retaliating against victims, to firing those hired to protect the victims. Sexual assaults happen on base, and in the field, and have been documented through time. Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance and murder kicked off a military #MeToo movement which is reaching Ft Bragg. NOW is doing a panel to have experts including victim advocates talk about problems at Ft. Bragg, and give the Military a chance to find out more about the issues it needs to address.
There are some significant updates in Vanessa Guillén case. There is a preliminary report on the independent review of Fort Hood’s command climate in the handling of her death. This report will be made public on Tuesday, Dec. 8. There is also progress on the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill – it is being deliberated in Congress.
What really happened with this victim advocate who had worked at Ft Bragg in NC? CBS aired Lindsey Knapp’s story and others in November 2020 on the CBS Evening News with Nora O’Donnell. See “Pentagon whistleblowers say they were fired or suspended for reporting sexual assault cover-ups: “People are afraid”” at cbsn.ws/2HpwN1k.
This is continuing coverage of the #MilitaryMetoo problems NC NOW has been covering via articles and discussion panels. Our first panel was part of the opening night of our NC NOW State Conference on Oct 9. Linsdey Knapp wasn’t able to attend as a third panelist for that event, but we hope to have her for our next #MilitaryMeToo panel which should be early January, 2021.
We’re having a panel on how the Military #MeToo movement can improve handling of sex crimes at Fort Bragg and Fayetteville. Lots of problems with handling of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military as you may have heard (#VanessaGuillen). The workload at Rape Crisis of Cumberland has increased a lot over the past few years, much of it helping sexual assault victims from Fort Bragg. We are honored to have Deanne Gerdes, executive director of Rape Crisis, and also Captain Erin Scanlon a rape survivor turned advocate, as panelists.
Here are some recent articles that may interest you on the topics of a military #metoo movement, murder of Breonna Taylor, how Campus Rape is now easier to get away with due to bad changes to rules of Title IX, how Covid-19 is Seriously Impacting Women’s Reproductive Health, and more.
Many hope the uproar over sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military that blew up after Specialist Vanessa Guillén’s disappearance and murder will force permanent change in military culture. Fort Hood Specialist Vanessa Guillén was finally ‘laid to rest’ in Houston on Saturday, Aug 15. On Aug 14, there was a procession around her high school, where she had been involved in multiple sports. “The Military Failed Vanessa Guillen and Others. It Must Do Better.” in Ms. Magazine explains how much her family did and “major deficiencies exposed by her case —including slow or negligent investigation of missing persons, lack of communication with families and handling of sex crimes.” There have been some developments – new legislation, investigations including a congressional one, and more bodies found.
There were at least three protests for Vanessa Guillen in Raleigh on Saturday, 7/25/20. Some of these protests are being organized by women moved to action, and organizers don’t seem to be aware of each other. NC NOW had learned about morning caravan (first one) and we were involved in the one at the state capitol (third one). We read of the second one in the News and Observer on 7/26/20. Here is information on all three.