Leon Panetta Sued By Military Rape Victims

Leon Panetta Sued By Military Rape Victims Linda Franklin Shining Service WorldwideTwenty men and women are suing Leon Panetta claiming the Department of Defense failed to punish dozen of sexual assaults. A lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco alleging current and former members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted while serving. 
They further allege that they suffered retaliation when they reported the alleged crimes.

The lawsuit accuses the leadership of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force of failing to prosecute and properly investigate claims of sexual assault. 

Susan Burke, the lead lawyer representing the plaintiffs, has filed four other lawsuits alleging assaults in military branches.

A federal judge in Virginia in December tossed out a similar suit. Although the judge called the allegations troubling, he said the military disciplinary system should handle the cases.  In my opinion, that’s the problem.  Get these cased tried in courts outside the military jurisdiction. 

Cynthia Smith, a Department of Defense spokeswoman, declined to discuss the latest lawsuit.

In March, after several service members filed a suit against the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, funding was increased for investigators and judge advocates to receive training in sexual assault cases. 

In addition, a two-star general was appointed to direct a sexual assault response and prevention office.

More and more victims of these assaults are lifting the curtain of secrecy and shame and coming forward.  This is how change happens. They are so brave and I honor their courage.

All of us have got to unite and stand behind our military sisters.  This is an issue for all women whether or not they are in uniform.  

You Gotta Have Heart – women supporting women.

Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family.  Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life