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Military Sexual Assault Victims Asking for More Support from State

Aired 10/29/13 on KPBS News.

Service members who’ve survived military sexual assaults are asking for more support from the state of California.

Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and the California Legislative Women's Caucus held a hearing Monday to hear from assault survivors and their advocates.

Veteran Kate Weber was 18 and had only been in the Army for a few months when she was raped by her superior. She later reported the assault to a female officer.

"I told her what happened. I told her the name and everything. And she said, I know him, he has a pregnant wife. He would never do that. And she went to his office and, in front of all his co-workers, told him, you better go shut up that red-head over there, because she's telling people you raped her," Weber recounted.

Weber now works as an advocate for other military rape victims. She and others are urging the state to increase resources and create policies aimed at helping assault survivors.

The US Department of Defense estimates 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in 2012. The majority of victims do not report their assaults.

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