Join us in supporting Equality Now’s actions against increasing rape and sexual assault in the US Military
We often get asked "What is the point of Can't Stop the Serenity? I can watch my DVD/Blu-ray of Serenity anytime at home. Why should I support a local event?" We'd like to share our answer with you. By supporting a local Can't Stop the Serenity event, you are helping to change the world. Now, that might seem like a pretty big claim, but here's where it's true. The money which you hand over at a local event for a few hours of entertainment, some merchandise, a few raffle tickets or perhaps to win something cool in an auction goes to support the vital work of Equality Now. And what does Equality Now do with it? They make positive change happen. Often, that change is in places far from your home such preventing child marriage in the Middle East, and protecting the rights of women in Africa and Asia. But sometimes, change is needed a lot closer to home.
This month, we'd like to highlight some of the work that Equality Now is doing in the United States.
Did you know that in 2012 there were over 26,000 reports of sexual assault against service members in the US Military? And that this was a 35% increase since 2010? On 7 May 2013, the US Department of Defence released their 2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. The report plainly showed that efforts to combat sexual assault in the military are not having the desired effect, and in fact, sexual violence and the culture of impunity are getting worse. According to Equality Now, approximately 1 out of every 100 sexual assaults in the military results in the conviction of the perpetrator. This is due to the multitude of obstacles rape survivors face in pursuing justice, including in reporting the crime, getting a thorough and impartial investigation, and seeing their assailant face appropriate charges and punishment.
Therefore, Equality Now has welcomed the 16 May introduction of the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a bi-partisan bill which would remove the power to prosecute sexual assault from military commanders and transfer it to professional prosecutors. Equality Now and their partner SWAN (Service Women's Action Network) have been consistently advocating for this reform for many years and will be following the bill closely as it moves through the legislative process to ensure that sexual assault victims have access to justice in the military.
You can add your voice to those calling for change. Watch the trailer for The Invisible War (and seek out the full documentary) and read the Equality Now Action Report to find out who you can write to in the US to advocate for positive change. And contact your government representatives to encourage them to support the bill.
We'd also like you to please support a local Can't Stop the Serenity event and give generously so that Equality Now can continue their work to put an end to rape and sexual assault against the men and women of the US Military, and support those who have already suffered.Continue Reading...