In the News
Source: KMA Land
May 26 2017
(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is among lawmakers pushing for a culture change in terms of sexual assaults in the military.
Ernst and New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this week introduced bipartisan legislation known as the Educating Servicemembers in Training on Prevent--or E-STOP Act.
"This bipartisan legislation would implement educational steps to put a stop to military sexual assault," said Ernst, "and inappropriate conduct on social media, by ensuring each newly enlisted service member in all branches of the U.S. military receives comprehensive and in-person sexual assault prevention training."
Among other things, Ernst says the E-STOP Act mandates the U.S. Department of Defense develops and implements sexual assault prevention training for service members in the delayed entry program, comprised of men and women who have taken the oath of enlistment, but are waiting to depart for basic training. Ernst says statistics show the additional training is necessary.
"While the 2016 DoD report estimates that 14,900 U.S. servicemembers experienced a sexual assault, compared to 20,300 when the last comprehensive canvas was conducted in 2014, more must be done. While about one in three servicemembers who experienced a sexual assault filed a report in 2016--up from one in 14 a decade ago--58% of those say they've experienced retaliation of some sort for coming forward," she said.
The Red Oak Republican says sexual assaults among U.S. servicemen and women are unacceptable.
"Sexual assault and disgusting online activity will continue to plague our nation and our military," said the senator, "until we take concrete steps forward to address this issue, and change the culture in our society. This legislation gives our military an opportunity to lead by example, and prevent sexual assaults and horrific online activity from happening in the first place."
Ernst says she's grateful for Gillibrand's support of the bill, which is also backed by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Protect Our Defenders, Futures Without Violence, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and the Service Women's Action Network, among others.