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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. FRANKEL of Florida. I am the mother of a United States marine war veteran, and I remember well the pride my son felt when he put on his uniform. My constituent, Elisha Morrow, felt the same pride when at age 22 she joined the United States Coast Guard. She started boot camp full of hope for her future.

That hope quickly turned into humiliation and sorrow as her company commander became her enemy. First, he ordered her to clean his office, and he later harassed her with sexual innuendoes and advances night after night. Feeling hopeless and fearing retribution, Elisha stayed silent until the commander became more emboldened. He again ordered another female recruit to his office at night. This time, he ordered her to remove her clothes and engage in unwanted sex.

Thankfully, the victimized servicewoman was brave enough to pursue charges, but because it was determined that she was not under physical threat and that she did not fear for her life, her assailant got away with the lesser offenses of cruelty and maltreatment and adultery, instead of being charged with rape.

This is not full justice. When our daughters and our sons put on the uniform to protect us, the United States, they must be protected to the utmost extent from such an abuse of power. Mr. Chair, the intention of this amendment is to do just that.

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