The United States Commission on Civil Rights announced that it will hold a briefing in support of its annual enforcement report on sexual assault in the military on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 9:30AM. Interested members of the public are invited to attend and no prior notice is required except for special accommodation requests.

PLACE: Commission Headquarters Hearing Room 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (entrance accessed from F Street NW) Suite 1150 Washington, DC 20425

The Department of Defense's own surveys indicate that approximately 4% of female service members compared to 1% of male service members experience some form of sexual assault each year. In fiscal year 2011, the Armed Services completed investigations in 2,353 reports of sexual assault, which represent only a small fraction of the sexual assaults estimated to have actually occurred. Of those cases investigated, fewer than half (989) went forward for disciplinary action, and only about half of those (489) were referred to court-martial. Of those who were convicted of sexual assault, only 78% served any time in prison. The Commission will examine and issue a report on the Department of Defense's efforts to ensure the administration of justice in the military's investigations of sexual assault allegations, its discipline of perpetrators, and its efforts to address and reduce discrimination against women in the Armed Forces.
The following experts will present their views and discuss these issues at the briefing:

Perspective of Victim and Accused – 9:30 am to 10:55 am

1. Rachel Natelson Legal Director, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

2. Phillip D. Cave, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Law Office of Phillip D. Cave (Defense Counsel)

3. Nancy Parish President, Protect Our Defenders

4. Bridget Wilson, Major, California Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Enlisted (Ret.) Rosenstein, Wilson & Dean, P.L.C. (Defense Counsel)

Academic Scholar Panel – 11:05 am to 12:30 pm

1. Dwight H. Sullivan, George Washington University Law School

2. Elizabeth Hillman, University of California, Hastings, School of Law

3. Victor Hansen, New England School of Law

4. David Lisak, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Boston, Department of Psychology

Break 12:30 to 1:15pm

Military Panel – 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm

1. Major General Gary Patton Director, Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO)

2. Nate Galbreath, MSF, Ph.D. Highly Qualified Expert, SAPRO

3. Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Air Force

4. Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Navy

5. Lieutenant General Dana K. Chipman, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of the Army

6. Major General Vaughn Ary, Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandment of the Marine Corps

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement

The Commission plans to gather information on how the DoD: (1) Educates service members, generally, about the DoD’s sexual assault policies; (2) Educates officers on how to process reports of sexual assault; (3) Assists sexual assault victims to file reports and receive needed medical/social services; (4) Investigates sexual assault reports, including the gathering and retention of evidence; and (5) Disciplines perpetrators, with a special focus on the process by which officers decide what form(s) of discipline to impose.

Active duty and former service members, particularly those who have been victims of sexual assault or have been accused of sexual assault, are encouraged to submit written comments. These public comments may be submitted until COB Monday, February 11, 2013 and may be sent by any of three ways: 1) by mail to 1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 1150, Washington, D.C., 20425, 2) emailed to, or 3) faxed to (202) 376-1163.

Looking forward to seeing some people from here at this hearing. Please consider submitting testimony.
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)