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MWC Responds to the Death of PFC Vanessa Guillen



WE DEMAND CHANGE NOW!


Private First Class (PFC) Vanessa Guillen’s tragic murder at Fort Hood, Texas is shocking. Unfortunately, for women who have served, it isn’t surprising. We know that it will happen again and again and again if the military is not finally held to account for this latest incident of fratricide. The harassment, assault, and even murder of service women is ubiquitous across the military services.


There is a long history of incidents of sexual harassment and assault as documented by repeated crimes such as: Tailhook (1991), Aberdeen (1996), Air Force Academy (2003), Lackland (2011), Naval Academy (2013), West Point (2013), and VMI (2019). Worse, there is a long list of service women who have been murdered in the military including: Private LaVena Johnson (2005), Private Tina Priest (2006), Specialist Kamisha Block (2007), Lance Corporal Maria Frances Lauterbach (2007) and Specialist Cecelia Cole (2015).


Despite pledge after pledge after pledge to reform the military and repeated claims of zero tolerance, the abuse of service women continues and is getting worse. According to DOD’s own data, 1 in 4 women who serve in the military will be victims of a sexual assault and we know that ALL will experience sexual harassment.


When Vanessa Guillen went missing her mother alerted military authorities that her daughter told her that she was being sexually harassed by a superior. Although the Soldier who killed Vanessa was not in her direct chain of command, he did out-rank her. Military authorities are attempting to downplay the report from her mother stating that they have no “credible” evidence that she was being harassed. Vanessa Guillen’s mother IS a credible source just like scores of service women who report being harassed and assaulted. Victims must be BELIEVED!


We demand systemic change so that there will never be another Vanessa Guillen. We demand the following actions:


1. An outside, independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Vanessa

Guillen’s disappearance and murder that includes an examination of the culture that

pervades Fort Hood.

2. Removal of the entire chain of command, including the Fort Hood Commanding

General and the Installation Commander.

3. Allow for independent military prosecutors to make prosecutorial decisions for

felonious crimes like sexual assault and murder.

4. Hold to account any service member who is found to have retaliated against victims

who report sexual harassment or assault.


We stand in solidarity with Vanessa Guillen’s family.


NEVER AGAIN!


THE MILITARY WOMEN’S COALITION

STANDING UNITED!

Combat Female Veterans Families United

GA Military Women

Invisible Combat

Lady Veterans Connect

Lambda Beta Alpha Military Sorority

Melwood Veteran Services

Northeast Florida Women Veterans

Protect Our Defenders

Pink Berets

Red Feather Ranch

ReInVentU

San Diego Women Veterans Network

Service Women's Action Network

Service: Women Who Serve

Veteran Women Enterprise Center

WINC: For All Women Veterans

Women in Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc.

Women Veterans of West Texas

Women Veterans Alliance

Women Veteran Social Justice


View the letter as a PDF below.


WE DEMAND CHANGE NOW 7.6.20
.pdf
Download PDF • 104KB



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The MWC is a project of Service Women's Action Network, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The MWC is currently under SWAN's fiscal sponsorship.

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