Advocates for military women are planning a #MeToo demonstration outside the Pentagon next month to add their voices to the movement that has put a spotlight on workplace sexual harassment and extinguished the careers of powerful men in entertainment, media, technology and politics.The Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) issued this press release:
The event is envisioned to allow military women and their supporters throughout the Washington area to raise awareness, show solidarity and share stories about sexual assault and harassment in the military.
The Service Women’s Action Network, joined by participating organizations Protect Our Defenders and the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, will hold a #MeTooMilitary Stand Down on Jan. 8, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. outside the Pentagon to raise awareness about military sexual assault.
The demonstration is planned as a peaceful, nonpartisan stand down where survivors will be encouraged to share their stories and distribute information on the sexual assault and harassment epidemic in the military to personnel around the Pentagon Metro Station.
“We are demonstrating outside the Pentagon to ensure the voices of service women and men are not left behind in the #MeToo movement and that the reckoning that has swept other industries in the nation also takes place in the military,” said Lydia Watts, SWAN CEO. “Despite major efforts undertaken by the military in the last decade, sexual assault and harassment continues to be widespread in the military, victims still face retaliation if they report and, and justice for victims remains elusive.”
In 2016, the Pentagon received 6,172 sexual assault reports, a record high number, while it estimated that about two thirds of victims still did not report their sexual assault. About six in 10 of those who reported said they had faced some form of retaliation for reporting, and only about four percent of reported sexual assault cases ended in conviction. As an institution that holds itself in high esteem because of its good order and discipline, the sexual assault epidemic in the military denotes a major failure by military commanders.
All are welcome to attend and stand in solidarity with our nation’s service women and men as SWAN amplifies the voices of the women and men affected by the sexual assault and harassment epidemic in the military.