This Sunday, the two female Iraq War combat veterans in Congress – Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Tulsi Gabbard – react to the Pentagon’s sexual assault report.
An estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact occurred among service members in 2012, though only 3,374 cases were reported. The results sparked strong reactions from Capitol Hill.
“Well, it's absolutely unacceptable,” Duckworth told “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley. “I want the military to be a place where women can succeed and thrive the way I was able to. And the military leadership, at this point, have shown that they have not been capable of fixing this problem.”
The big numbers don’t tell the whole story though. Down on page 71 of the report is the one of the smallest number that stands out the most.
238 – the number of people convicted of court-martial charges.
Both congresswomen support having independent investigators within the military take charge of sexual assault allegations free of commanders who can reverse a military court’s decision, which the current system allows.
“The commander should not have the power to overturn a jury's verdict,” Gabbard said.
See the full interview this Sunday on “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” at 9am ET.