ICYMI: Mike Franken Does Not Take Military Sexual Assault Seriously
Iowa Field Report | November 3, 2022
"In these uncertain times, the United States needs leaders who take sexual assault seriously. It’s a moral issue. For too long, we’ve tolerated sexual assault in our military and other institutions. It’s also a national security issue. News reports show that the Department of Defense is going to miss recruiting goals by more than 10,000 troops this year and is projecting a gap of at 21,000 or more active-duty troops by 2023. We can’t recruit and retain the best and brightest to our military if we don’t take the problem of sexual assault seriously.
Mike Franken stated in a 2021 Intercept article that unreported sexual crimes in Africa between 2010 and 2020 was a partisan attack. As a source in that article, I can attest the article was written to highlight problems of how the military dealt with sexual assault. There was no partisan agenda whatsoever. At the time, Mr. Franken was months away from announcing his eventual bid for the U.S. Senate.
Americans should be outraged; no commander or politician should remain in positions of power when they fail the service members that fight for our basic freedoms.
Our service members deserve justice. Too often, senior leaders in the military attempt to sweep crimes under the rug or just don’t pay the proper attention to it.
How can America trust your ability to lead when you fail at basic execution of military leadership and keeping the troops safe? Under your watch, male and female service members expressed did not feel heard. My work experience in AFRICOM points to a culture of disrespect for men and women who were victims of felony crimes. The silence from senior leadership is deadly, and we are witnessing a National Security Crisis due to a lack of integrity and failure to uphold federal laws.
I’ve made standing up for sexual assault victims my life’s work. I’ve worked with Democrats and with Republicans. I’ll work with anyone who will fight to end sexual violence and harassment in our military. Any claim that sexual abuse is a partisan problem will result in the destruction of our military.
Service members should not fear their fellow service members or leadership.. This is not a partisan issue. It’s one that concerns us all. Those who were in positions of authority who didn’t do their duty should be held to account.
Amy Franck – President and Founder of Never Alone Advocacy & Co-Chair of the Military Women’s Coalition"
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