March 13, 2013

Hirono Pushes Reforms To Stop Rapes In The Military

Sen. Mazie Hirono said she supports making it easier for victims of sexual abuse to come forward by allowing them to join a different unit while their allegations are being investigated. 

The spokesman’s comments came today after former armed forces members who’ve been sexually assaulted testified before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, as Congress pressed for reforms to prevent rapes in the military.

The spokesman, Nathan Click, said Hirono is exploring another idea to turn over the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault allegations in the military to an outside civilian body, despite opposition from the military.

“These terrible incidents of rape and violence in the military are very troubling, and the testimony I heard today raised important questions about how these cases are handled in the military,” Hirono said in a statement after the hearing. 

“I am very proud of the service of our men and women in uniform, and I am exploring solutions that get justice for victims and prevent these acts from occurring in the first place.   

Hirono, a member of the committee, said at the hearing, “the situation is very complicated. One of the hardest things to do is change the culture…We must move in the right direction.”

In response to Hirono’s question about what some of privacy protections would help service members making allegations, Rebekah Havrillah, a former U.S. Army sergeant, said being able to transfer out of her unit would help. “I can’t imagine being in my unit and undergoing an investigation,” she said.

The Hill has additional coverage of the hearing. 

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat