Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic presidential candidate, blasted Army Gen. James McConville Thursday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing over the rising sexual assaults in the military.
“I am tired of excuses, I am tired of statements from commanders that say ‘zero tolerance.’ I am tired of the statement I get over and over: ‘We got this ma’am, we got this.’ You don’t have it! You’re failing us. The trajectories of every measurable are now going in the wrong direction,” the New York Democrat said.
Ms. Gillibrand cited a study that sexual assaults in the military have risen 13 percent in 2018 with 20,000 reports. However, experts say that number may be low due to only a third of military victims reporting assaults.
She also referenced that up to one in five women and one in 12 men will be assaulted, but the number of sexual assault cases moving forward has gone down.
“We have to do better, I expect you to show strong leadership on this. It is your responsibility to make sure the men and women who serve, who will sacrifice their lives for this country, are protected,” Ms. Gillibrand said.
Sen. Martha McSally, Arizona Republican and a former Air Force colonel, said at a hearing in March that she was “raped by a superior officer” when serving, saying she didn’t report the incident because she did not trust the system.
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