The death of Vanessa Guillen, U.S. Army specialist, has sparked conversations of sexual assault in the military.
This prompted the National Military Women Veterans Association of America to host a protest in Temecula on Sept. 5 to demand justice. The campaign, Women Veterans: One Voice, began at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas and has gone nationwide in just a few months.
The U.S. Department of Defense reported that an estimated 14,900 military personnel were sexually assaulted in 2016,of whom 6,172 made an official complaint. According to an article published in Medscape, up to 80% of women in the armed forces have been sexually harassed and 25% have experienced a sexual assault.
Women Veterans: One Voice advocates for transparency in investigations of sexual harassment and assault and legislation that will better protect women in the military.
The organization argues that although progress has been made, current events and the stories shared by women veterans have shown that more work is required.
“We’ve come a long way,” the organization’s website states. “But as current events have shown, the stories that have been shared by our sisters in arms, we are not done.”