Speier critical over military's handling of rape

March 7, 2012 7:41:13 PM PST
San Mateo County Congresswoman Jackie Speier stood on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday and chastised the U.S. military for the way it handles rape cases in the military.

This is the 16th time she has done this. She is calling for passage of her bill to take rape investigations out of the chain of command. "The Department of Defense estimates that more than 19,000 service members were raped or sexual assaulted in 2010. Yet, only 13 percent of them actually reported the rape and of those 13 percent, only 8 percent of the perpetrators were prosecuted and an even smaller number were convicted," she said.

Her speech comes a day after a lawsuit was filed by eight current and former service members of the Marines and Navy. One local woman in the suit, Lamanda Cummings, recently met with Rep. Speier and other military assault victims. They described the suicidal depression they suffered as a result of MST or Military Sexual Trauma.