Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims

Senator John Cornyn
2013-08-05 13:39:40
Mailingid: 636 Reply-To: xxx To: Unity Feed MIME-Version: 1.0 Return-Address: xxx Precedence: bulk piv: 2100106588.5396093.16 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;boundary=__NEXTPART_1375735134746 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --__NEXTPART_1375735134746 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1" THE LONESTAR WEEKLY Senator Cornyn�s E-Newsletter The Lonestar Weekly* *Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims* *�**The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem�* *The following op-ed by U.S. Senator John Cornyn first appeared in the *San Antonio Express-News [link 1]. [link 2] A justice system cannot truly be just if it is not vested with the confidence of the people it is meant to serve. This is as true for the military as it is for civilians. In order for the system to work, people need to be able to trust that the system will dispassionately pursue the facts and protect the due process rights of all parties involved. Victims of wrongdoing must be secure in the knowledge that they can rely on the system to deliver justice without needlessly exacerbating the wounds left by the crime committed against them. When it comes to crimes of sexual assault, the military justice system is failing. It has lost the trust of many of the people it is meant to serve and, as a consequence, an environment has been created in which these heinous acts can occur. The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem. One of the difficulties of bringing sexual predators to justice is the general lack of reporting by victims. By one estimate, 89 percent of victims of sexual assault in the military do not report the crime committed against them. Consequentially, sexual predators in the military know that they are acting with a degree of unchecked impunity. Increasing the reporting rate is a key component of tackling this scourge of sexual assaults within the ranks. Thus, we must ask: What is driving the low reporting rate and how do we reverse this trend? The answer to the former is clear. In the military justice system, victims who come forward with formal accusations are sometimes submitted to humiliating rounds of intense interviews without an attorney present to help them understand what they are being asked about. In front of sometimes hostile interrogators, victims are forced to relive the attack they endured. At the same time, according to one incident recounted in the San Antonio Express-News' �Twice Betrayed� series, they may be subjected to disconcerting questions about their marriages, their sexual histories, and other personal details that bear little or no relevance to the case. This, combined with the fear of retaliation and jeopardizing one's career, creates a powerful disincentive for acts of sexual assault to be reported. This dynamic must be eliminated, and I believe the best way to do so is to empower victims. To that end, I have co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that would require the military to provide a special victims' counsel for victims of sexual assault. These lawyers would give crucial assistance and legal advice to victims, standing at their sides and guiding them through the emotionally charged process. Victims need to be informed of their rights. They need to have an ally who will help them stand up to the prying and intimidating questions of defense attorneys and sometimes overzealous criminal investigators. They need to know that the injustice they endured will not go unpunished and that the guilty will be held accountable. Finally, they need to know that the American people stand with them and that, together, we will not tolerate the status quo. The legislation to create special victims' counsels has broad support from across the ideological spectrum, and I am pleased that a version of it has already been added to both the Senate and House versions of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. We must push forward. We must put an end to these abuses that are ruining the lives of strong, patriotic Americans who choose to serve their country. Failing to do so would represent a betrayal of the victims and a moral stain on our collective conscience. News Releases* *August 5: Cornyn: Cancel All Contracts With Russian Firm Arming Assad [link 3] August 5: Cornyn Op-Ed: Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims [link 4] August 2: Cornyn Applauds CBP Efforts to Improve Texas Ports of Entry [link 5] August 2: After House Votes to Remove IRS from Obamacare, Cornyn Calls for Senate Vote [link 6] August 1: Sen. Cornyn: West Victims Need Assistance, Not Another Working Group [link 7] [link 8] August 1: On Senate Floor, Democrats Preserve IRS�s Power to Enforce Obamacare [link 9] August 1: Cornyn Calls on IRS Chief to Endorse Bill Removing IRS from Obamacare [link 10] July 31: Cornyn: Jones Nomination Indicates Reckless Behavior Rewarded In Obama White House [link 11] July 30: Cornyn Praises Defense Budget Cutting Funds for Russian Arms Firm Supplying Assad [link 12] July 25: Cornyn Responds to Justice Announcement on Texas Voting Laws [link 13]* Social Media* Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill. [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/twitter.gif] [link 14]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/instagram-logo-icon.jpg] [link 15]�� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/facebook.gif] [link 16]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/youtube.gif] [link 17]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Flickr.png] [link 18] Texas Times Column* *August 5: Texas� Very Own Royal Heir [link 19]* *July 25: Experiencing Texas� Natural Beauty [link 20] July 1: A Day to Reflect and Recommit Ourselves to America�s Founding Ideals [link 21] May 24: Honoring the Fallen in Smithville, TX [link 22] April 23: Courage and Grace in West, Texas [link 23] March 18: Honoring Montford Point Marine Calvin Curtis [link 24] February 28: A Moment Bigger Than The Game [link 25] February 20: Texas Treasure Returns to the Alamo [link 26] February 5: Honoring Members of our Greatest Generation [link 27] January 28: Remembering the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia [link 28] �* �
Mailingid: 636 Reply-To: xxx To: Unity Feed MIME-Version: 1.0 Return-Address: xxx Precedence: bulk piv: 2100106588.5396093.16 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;boundary=__NEXTPART_1375735134746 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --__NEXTPART_1375735134746 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1" THE LONESTAR WEEKLY Senator Cornyn�s E-Newsletter The Lonestar Weekly* *Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims* *�**The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem�* *The following op-ed by U.S. Senator John Cornyn first appeared in the *San Antonio Express-News [link 1]. [link 2] A justice system cannot truly be just if it is not vested with the confidence of the people it is meant to serve. This is as true for the military as it is for civilians. In order for the system to work, people need to be able to trust that the system will dispassionately pursue the facts and protect the due process rights of all parties involved. Victims of wrongdoing must be secure in the knowledge that they can rely on the system to deliver justice without needlessly exacerbating the wounds left by the crime committed against them. When it comes to crimes of sexual assault, the military justice system is failing. It has lost the trust of many of the people it is meant to serve and, as a consequence, an environment has been created in which these heinous acts can occur. The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem. One of the difficulties of bringing sexual predators to justice is the general lack of reporting by victims. By one estimate, 89 percent of victims of sexual assault in the military do not report the crime committed against them. Consequentially, sexual predators in the military know that they are acting with a degree of unchecked impunity. Increasing the reporting rate is a key component of tackling this scourge of sexual assaults within the ranks. Thus, we must ask: What is driving the low reporting rate and how do we reverse this trend? The answer to the former is clear. In the military justice system, victims who come forward with formal accusations are sometimes submitted to humiliating rounds of intense interviews without an attorney present to help them understand what they are being asked about. In front of sometimes hostile interrogators, victims are forced to relive the attack they endured. At the same time, according to one incident recounted in the San Antonio Express-News' �Twice Betrayed� series, they may be subjected to disconcerting questions about their marriages, their sexual histories, and other personal details that bear little or no relevance to the case. This, combined with the fear of retaliation and jeopardizing one's career, creates a powerful disincentive for acts of sexual assault to be reported. This dynamic must be eliminated, and I believe the best way to do so is to empower victims. To that end, I have co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that would require the military to provide a special victims' counsel for victims of sexual assault. These lawyers would give crucial assistance and legal advice to victims, standing at their sides and guiding them through the emotionally charged process. Victims need to be informed of their rights. They need to have an ally who will help them stand up to the prying and intimidating questions of defense attorneys and sometimes overzealous criminal investigators. They need to know that the injustice they endured will not go unpunished and that the guilty will be held accountable. Finally, they need to know that the American people stand with them and that, together, we will not tolerate the status quo. The legislation to create special victims' counsels has broad support from across the ideological spectrum, and I am pleased that a version of it has already been added to both the Senate and House versions of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. We must push forward. We must put an end to these abuses that are ruining the lives of strong, patriotic Americans who choose to serve their country. Failing to do so would represent a betrayal of the victims and a moral stain on our collective conscience. News Releases* *August 5: Cornyn: Cancel All Contracts With Russian Firm Arming Assad [link 3] August 5: Cornyn Op-Ed: Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims [link 4] August 2: Cornyn Applauds CBP Efforts to Improve Texas Ports of Entry [link 5] August 2: After House Votes to Remove IRS from Obamacare, Cornyn Calls for Senate Vote [link 6] August 1: Sen. Cornyn: West Victims Need Assistance, Not Another Working Group [link 7] [link 8] August 1: On Senate Floor, Democrats Preserve IRS�s Power to Enforce Obamacare [link 9] August 1: Cornyn Calls on IRS Chief to Endorse Bill Removing IRS from Obamacare [link 10] July 31: Cornyn: Jones Nomination Indicates Reckless Behavior Rewarded In Obama White House [link 11] July 30: Cornyn Praises Defense Budget Cutting Funds for Russian Arms Firm Supplying Assad [link 12] July 25: Cornyn Responds to Justice Announcement on Texas Voting Laws [link 13]* Social Media* Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill. [image = http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/twitter.gif] [link 14]� [image = http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/instagram-logo-icon.jpg] [link 15]�� [image = http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/facebook.gif] [link 16]� [image = http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/youtube.gif] [link 17]� [image = http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Flickr.png] [link 18] Texas Times Column* *August 5: Texas� Very Own Royal Heir [link 19]* *July 25: Experiencing Texas� Natural Beauty [link 20] July 1: A Day to Reflect and Recommit Ourselves to America�s Founding Ideals [link 21] May 24: Honoring the Fallen in Smithville, TX [link 22] April 23: Courage and Grace in West, Texas [link 23] March 18: Honoring Montford Point Marine Calvin Curtis [link 24] February 28: A Moment Bigger Than The Game [link 25] February 20: Texas Treasure Returns to the Alamo [link 26] February 5: Honoring Members of our Greatest Generation [link 27] January 28: Remembering the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia [link 28] �* � ---------------------- footnotes ---------------------- [link 1] http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Someone-to-speak-for-and-protect-sexual-assault-4701234.php [link 2] http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Obama-must-engage-Congress-4165856.php?utm_source=MRT+Morning+Email+List&utm_campaign=b8acc9278e-010413_4am_CT1_4_2013&utm_medium=email [link 3] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=3cd46929-deaf-47f8-bc80-64ff0fbdb98d [link 4] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=21a64c0e-9119-4b59-b116-a409374e9e8f [link 5] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=d926a009-d0d3-4ff3-bbf7-a89717c78586 [link 6] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=eb4760ed-0658-4c50-a23c-5cca36843fba [link 7] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=b55619ce-9a21-488f-86f5-e40ea8bbd944 [link 8] http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm?mailaction=clickthru&gpiv=2100106569.7292973.822&gen=1&mailing_linkid=81296 [link 9] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=0e24aba1-b17e-4771-8b6d-7d7c3b16e01e [link 10] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=3c0b81fe-73bc-437b-be97-9e6c8316c129 [link 11] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=563e464e-b953-4892-9893-d7a3f4ab6eea [link 12] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=a116b7c6-d2f9-42c3-96c7-70234b276611 [link 13] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=InNews&ContentRecord_id=3aa4fa57-566e-4512-89a0-6f19c2c9ddf4 [link 14] http://twitter.com/Johncornyn [link 15] http://instagram.com/johncornyn [link 16] http://www.facebook.com/Sen.JohnCornyn [link 17] http://www.youtube.com/SenJohnCornyn [link 18] http://www.flickr.com/photos/senjohncornyn [link 19] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=TexasTimesWeeklyColumn&ContentRecord_id=6714de3a-d352-4c6c-9081-202df65e0e08 [link 20] http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=TexasTimesWeeklyColumn&ContentRecord_id=edd23a08-3e87-483e-b9a6-220bd4044970 [link 21] http://tinyurl.com/mfhg4w6 [link 22] http://tinyurl.com/n7rxw9u [link 23] http://tinyurl.com/d8khwf6 [link 24] http://tinyurl.com/cthueyx [link 25] http://tinyurl.com/at7a7sc [link 26] http://tinyurl.com/acchega [link 27] http://tinyurl.com/ap5sy3j [link 28] http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/customlinks/11 http://cornyn.senate.gov Office Locations: http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=OfficeLocations Privacy Policy: http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PrivacyPolicy Unsubscribe: http://cornyn.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm?mailaction=unsubscribe&gpiv=2100106588.5396093.16&gen=1 --__NEXTPART_1375735134746 Content-Type: text/html; charset="ISO-8859-1"

Someone to Speak For and Protect Sexual Assault Victims

The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem�

The following op-ed by U.S. Senator John Cornyn first appeared in the

A justice system cannot truly be just if it is not vested with the confidence of the people it is meant to serve.

This is as true for the military as it is for civilians.

In order for the system to work, people need to be able to trust that the system will dispassionately pursue the facts and protect the due process rights of all parties involved.

Victims of wrongdoing must be secure in the knowledge that they can rely on the system to deliver justice without needlessly exacerbating the wounds left by the crime committed against them.

When it comes to crimes of sexual assault, the military justice system is failing.

It has lost the trust of many of the people it is meant to serve and, as a consequence, an environment has been created in which these heinous acts can occur.

The status quo is unacceptable, and it is imperative that Congress and the military take corrective action to fix this problem.

One of the difficulties of bringing sexual predators to justice is the general lack of reporting by victims.

By one estimate, 89 percent of victims of sexual assault in the military do not report the crime committed against them. Consequentially, sexual predators in the military know that they are acting with a degree of unchecked impunity.

Increasing the reporting rate is a key component of tackling this scourge of sexual assaults within the ranks. Thus, we must ask: What is driving the low reporting rate and how do we reverse this trend?

The answer to the former is clear. In the military justice system, victims who come forward with formal accusations are sometimes submitted to humiliating rounds of intense interviews without an attorney present to help them understand what they are being asked about.

In front of sometimes hostile interrogators, victims are forced to relive the attack they endured.

At the same time, according to one incident recounted in the San Antonio Express-News' �Twice Betrayed� series, they may be subjected to disconcerting questions about their marriages, their sexual histories, and other personal details that bear little or no relevance to the case.

This, combined with the fear of retaliation and jeopardizing one's career, creates a powerful disincentive for acts of sexual assault to be reported.

This dynamic must be eliminated, and I believe the best way to do so is to empower victims. To that end, I have co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that would require the military to provide a special victims' counsel for victims of sexual assault.

These lawyers would give crucial assistance and legal advice to victims, standing at their sides and guiding them through the emotionally charged process.

Victims need to be informed of their rights. They need to have an ally who will help them stand up to the prying and intimidating questions of defense attorneys and sometimes overzealous criminal investigators.

They need to know that the injustice they endured will not go unpunished and that the guilty will be held accountable.

Finally, they need to know that the American people stand with them and that, together, we will not tolerate the status quo.

The legislation to create special victims' counsels has broad support from across the ideological spectrum, and I am pleased that a version of it has already been added to both the Senate and House versions of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

We must push forward. We must put an end to these abuses that are ruining the lives of strong, patriotic Americans who choose to serve their country.

Failing to do so would represent a betrayal of the victims and a moral stain on our collective conscience.

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Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill.

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