Now in its second year, the Summit gives survivors and their families the opportunity to share their experiences with congress members, policy experts and one another, and features key panels by law and policy experts on major topics involving military sexual violence and survivors’ access to justice. This year’s 2-day Summit will also include workshops for survivors, their families and the general public such as Sexual Violence and Criminal Justice: Myths vs. Facts, Working With Trauma Survivors, Intensive Media Training, Telling Your Story, Self-Care, Mobilizing Your Community, and Tackling VA MST Claims.
Last year’s Summit was a resounding success as 250 participants assembled in Washington, DC for the first national convening of military sexual assault survivors. Three key Senators and four Representatives from both parties attended the event and 35 reporters in print, television, radio and blogs provided international coverage.
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) is a civil rights organization that works to secure equal opportunity and the freedom to serve in uniform without the threat of discrimination, harassment or assault, and to secure quality health care and equal benefits for women veterans and their families. In just five years, SWAN has established itself as the leading U.S. organization that focuses on gender-specific needs and issues faced by women in the U.S. Military.
In Fiscal Year 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) documented 3,192 reports of military sexual assault, but concluded that only 13.5% of total cases were actually reported. DOD estimates that in 2010 alone, over 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military. Less than 20% of alleged perpetrators were referred for court-martial; even fewer were convicted or sentenced to prison.