We are working hard on planning Truth and Justice: The 2012 Summit on Military Sexual Violence and wanted to inform you of an important change.
We just heard from congressional offices that our original conference dates coincide with the week when the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will be debated in the House of Representatives. The NDAA is the key piece of legislation that pertains to defense issues, including military sexual assault reforms. Last year, SWAN worked with Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) to get life-saving victims’ protections put into the Act. SWAN is working closely with this bi-partisan team to introduce key sexual assault reforms into this year’s NDAA, putting the focus now on changing the military judicial system.
Due to the scheduling of this important NDAA debate, we need to move our Summit. Fortunately, this change will give our movement an enormous advantage–by coming to Washington, DC and sharing your stories with elected officials the week before this debate, you will have the opportunity to directly influence the outcome of military sexual assault reform.
SWAN is moving the Summit to Tuesday, May 8th and compressing our activities into one day, with panels in the morning and congressional visits in the afternoon.
Our mobilization will send Congress a strong message at exactly the right time. We will also be pressing forward with a national media strategy to push these issues and this historic gathering even further across the nation. Additionally, the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, co-chaired by Reps Tsongas and Turner, has agreed to officially sponsor the Summit. We are grateful to both congress members for taking leadership on these issues in the past and continuing to lead into the future.
We sincerely hope you will be able to join us (register now!), and regret any convenience this re-scheduling may have caused you. Even if you cannot make it, there are lots of ways to participate and lend your support. Check out our sidebar to the right for a few opportunities. Thank you for your courage, dedication and support!
Executive Director, Service Women’s Action Network
Former Marine Captain
SWAN is a civil rights organization founded and led by women veterans. SWAN’s vision is to transform military culture by securing equal opportunity and the freedom to serve in uniform without threat of harassment, discrimination, intimidation or assault. SWAN also seeks to reform veterans’ services on a national scale to guarantee equal access to quality health care, benefits and resources for women veterans and their families.