Support Military Sexual Assault Survivors!
  • Petitioned Senator Carl Levin
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committeee
Senator Carl Levin
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
Rep. Howard McKeon
See response
House Chairman of Committees on Veterans' Affairs
Representative Jeff Miller
Senate Chair of Committees on Veterans' Affairs
Senator Patty Murray
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

Support Military Sexual Assault Survivors!

    1. Petition by

      Kori Cioca

As a child I'd always wanted to serve my country so joining the U.S. Coast Guard was a dream come true, I loved the discipline, the camaraderie and helping others. There was just one problem —my supervisor. From the moment I came under his charge, he singled me out for abuse and harassment.  My appeals to his superiors fell on deaf ears, and one night he entered my room, hit me so hard he dislocated my jaw, and then raped me.

When I stumbled out from my bunkroom  to report the incident, I was told by my commander (a close friend of my assailant) that I was a liar and a "disrespectful non-rate."  Five years since the incident, I am no longer in the coast guard and my jaw still has not received surgery while my assailant continues to enjoy a successful military career. 

The real horror though is that my story is not unique. I am one one of hundreds of thousands of men and women who've been raped by fellow soldiers while serving their country and then disbelieved and exiled. All too often, we are punished for reporting, and eventually, despite laudable careers, discharged.

According to Department of Defense estimates, over 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military in 2010 alone. Over the past 5 decades, more than 500,000 U.S. Soldiers have been assaulted.

Even worse, unlike the civilian world where rape victims can turn to an impartial police force and justice system for help, in the military, rape victims can only appeal to their command—a move that is all too often met with foot-dragging at best, and harsh reprisals at worse. As a result, only eight percent of military sexual assault cases are prosecuted, and far less result in significant prison time. 

We, as a society, can no longer allow this criminal epidemic to continue unabated. We are losing too many good soldiers to an unjust system.  

Bills have now been introduced that would provide justice for sexual assault survivors currently serving in the U.S. Military, and would help alleviate the suffering of veterans who were sexually assaulted. In order for these bills to become law, they must pass a vote by specific committees prior to going to the full House or Senate for a final vote. Unfortunately most bills never get out of committee. Please join us in asking the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard “Buck” McKeon and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Carl Levin to support H.R. 3435, The STOP Act, and H.R. 1517, The Holley Lynn James Act.

We also ask Representative Jeff Miller and Senator Patty Murray who chair the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs respectively, to support H.R. 930, a bill that would make getting disability for military sexual assault-related condition from the Veterans Administration much easier.

Your overwhelming support of this legislature will send a clear message to the Department of Defense that it needs to take immediate measures to take the decision to investigate and prosecute rape crimes out of the hands of commanders, and provide access to disability for military sexual-assault survivors.

 

Thanks for caring,

 

Kori Cioca

To find out even more about military sexual assault, Kori's story, and what you can do to help, go to:  www.invisiblewarmovie.com and sign up to get involved.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 9,000 signatures
    2. Decision-maker Rep. Howard McKeon responds:

      Rep. Howard McKeon

      I am not howard mckeon. I am not Bob Cochran working for Howard McKeon. I am a different Bob Cochran. Hundreds of your petitions a day get sent to my junk folder and are deleted. What a waste. Bob.cochran@mail.house.gov is who you wa...


    3. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • LuAnn Rolley BURLINGTON, VT
      • over 1 year ago

      I work with survivors of violence and I'm also a survivor of sexual assault.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jeffrey Carey CALIFORNIA, MD
      • over 1 year ago

      Our brothers and sisters in the military have made a monumental decision to lay down their lives for their country, so they shouldn't be "rewarded" with sexual assault from their fellow servicemen (or superiors!). It's appalling how little attention this ongoing atrocity is getting in the public consciousness, let alone within the military itself. Getting H.R. 930 signed would be a major step forward in leading our military leadership out of the Bronze Age with regards to its treatment of women (and acceptance of male rape victims). As awareness of this outrage expands, so will ways to fight back.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • deborah ohara SALEM, OR
      • over 1 year ago

      because i am also a Military Sexual Assault Survivor. USAF 1978-1983

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Elisha Morrow BOYNTON BEACH, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      Kori, thank you for your courage. I recently attended the court martial of the man I reported for sexual harassment. As it turned out, he had harassed three of my shipmates and sexually assaulted one of them. In the end, he got a slap on the wrist for "maltreatment". I know how devastating this is and the military owes it to those of us that are veterans to take care of us and ensure that we are looked out for. I proudly sign this petition and stand up with you in this fight.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Susan Marmol BROOKLYN, NY
      • almost 2 years ago

      I am horrified by the high incidence of sexual assault in the military and, moreover, the retaliation endured when the victims are brave enough to come forward. We can no longer tolerate this behavior. We need stronger laws.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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