Domestic Violence Panel #4 Program includes the agenda, panelist biographies, upcoming events, information on the Lautenberg Amendment, and more.
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.
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.
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.
The family of Vanessa Guillén and their lawyer, Natalie Khawam, had a press conference on July 30 timed with introduction of bill in Guillén’s name. The #IAmVanessaGuillen bill addresses some major problems in how the military handles sexual assault and sexual harassment cases. Before she was murdered, Guillén had told her family at least two of her superiors had harassed her on base, one stalking her. Also exposed by her case are problems with the way the military investigates (or doesn’t investigate) disappearances of service members. Now is the time to force the military to do a better job in both areas with new legislation. The family also demanded a congressional investigation into Vanessa’s death.
Peaceful Protest for Justice for Vanessa Guillen on 7/25/20 at the State Capitol Building in Raleigh.
Event is hosted by a Grassroots Coalition of NC Women & NC NOW
The military must do better. Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén went suspiciously missing on April 22, 2020, leaving her car keys, barracks room key, Army identification card and wallet behind at her workspace. The investigation into her disappearance was dragging on slowly at best until her family pushed via social media. Before that, the family organized multiple searches and vigils and protests, hoping to find Guillén and bring her home. Eventually, investigators found she was murdered by a soldier on base. Before the murder, Guillén told her family she had been sexually harassed by her superiors, but was afraid to report it. Her case exposed a terrible outcome of the military mishandling sexual assault and sexual harassment. Anger and frustration with these failures have created a military #MeToo movement. These continuing major failures in the military must be addressed.