FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2016
PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP AND MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT
Washington, D.C. – Over the past two weeks, Protect Our Defenders has heard from many survivors and veterans who have voiced concern and apprehension over the results of the recent presidential election.
Protect Our Defenders has released the following statement:
We know that many survivors have felt significant pain and anxiety during this election process, and we have heard from many current and former service members, survivors and concerned citizens who have expressed grave concerns about the impact some of President-elect Trump’s statements and prior actions may have on the effort to improve military culture and on the fight against sexual assault and harassment within the military.
While we have been concerned by President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s troubling statements regarding sexual assault and the role of women in the military, during the campaign, President-elect Trump also acknowledged that sexual assault in the military remains a serious problem, and recognized the need to reform the military justice process.
Protect Our Defenders will be reaching out to the Trump administration in the coming weeks. It is our sincere hope that he will engage with advocates and lawmakers about the need for reform, and commit to doing everything he can to establish an atmosphere in the Armed Services where sexual harassment and abuse are not tolerated, and where victims feel supported and protected.
President-elect Trump must make it clear that he has heard the concerns of the American people and that, as Commander in Chief, he will repudiate his prior statements. It is important he acknowledge that women’s service to this country is valued, that sexual assault is unacceptable, and that this crisis is weakening our military.
As we did with the Obama Administration, Protect Our Defenders will work closely with our survivor community and advocacy partners to hold the Trump Administration accountable for its words and actions, and will continue to press for changes to make the military justice system a fair and functioning process for all service members.
About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders (POD) is a human rights organization. We are the only national organization solely dedicated to addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military and to combating a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and retribution against victims. We honor, support and give voice to survivors of military sexual assault – including both service members and civilians assaulted by members of the military. We seek reform to ensure all survivors have access to a fair, impartially administered system of justice. Learn more about Protect Our Defenders at www.protectourdefenders.com or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ProtectOurDefenders or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ProtectRDfnders.