March for Vanessa Guillen to be held in Washington, D.C.

by 24USATVJan. 5, 2021, 10 p.m. 22
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Organizers said they will march to keep pressure on congress and President-Elect Joe Biden to pass the #IAmVanessaGuillen bill.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — A Justice for Vanessa Guillen march was scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. as supporters continued their push to pass a bill designed to protect victims of sexual assault and harassment in the military.

Organizers called on people to join them Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. "to show congress and President-Elect Biden that we will not stop until the legislation #IAmVanessaGuillen is signed into law."

Spc. Guillen was killed April 22 in an armory room on Fort Hood by fellow soldier, Spc. Aaron Robinson, according to a criminal complaint. Her remains were not found until June 30 in Bell County.

Robinson's girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence. She was scheduled to go on trial on March 8 in a federal courtroom in Waco.

Guillen's family said she told them she was sexually harassed but did not report it to her superiors for fear of retaliation.

The bill would allow soldiers to report sexual assault and harassment to a third party outside their chain of command.

Guillen's family, with the help of their attorney Natalie Khawam and support from members of congress, pushed for the bill which was introduced to the U.S. House by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Sept. 16. It was in the hands of the House Armed Services Committee as of this article.

Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy appointed five civilians July 30 to a panel to review the command climate and culture on Fort Hood in the wake of Guillen's death.

The results of the panel's review were released Dec. 8. That day McCarthy announced the firings or suspension of 14 leaders on Fort Hood.

The panel offered nine findings, which included what they called “a deficient climate at Fort Hood, including ineffective implementation of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program.

Organizers of the march said more details would be released as the date drew closer.

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