Vanessa Guillen murder prompts lawmakers to discuss what more can be done for sexual assault victims in U.S. Army


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Lawmakers say the U.S. Army continues to do a poor job of prosecuting soldiers for sexual assault.

A male soldier murdered Specialist Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood in Texas. Guillen’s family says she told them months before that he was sexually harassing her, but she was scared to report it to her superiors.

“We know we must do more,” said Nate Galbreath.

Dr. Galbreath is Director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

He says the number of sexual assaults reported to his office has increased since the Army implemented a confidentiality policy in 2006.

“Encouraging people to come forward is much more than just saying make a report,” said Galbreath.

Texas Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar says the entire system needs to change so that every service member can serve their country — without fear of the enemy within.

“Why bother reporting sexual harassment if the results with regards to sexual assault are so terrible?” asked Escobar.

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