[LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY] Nurses Speak Up About Rape in the Military

In 2012, 3,374 brave men and women in our military reported an incident of sexual assault.

It is estimated that 26,000 sexual assaults happened in our armed services last year.

This means only an abysmal 13% of cases in the military are reported, compared to 40% reported in civilian cases.*

Why the discrepancy?

The issue of reporting in the military is complicated but heightened awareness with skilled professionals and targeted programs will increase the likelihood of reporting.

We believe, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) are an integral part of the solution.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would establish training requirements for sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) performing examinations of victims in the military. Introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), these provisions would ensure SANEs be available at every military facility so that victims receive an examination within 24-hours of an assault. ANA along with twelve other health organizations sent a letter to Senator Boxer expressing support for this amendment.

It is time for you to ensure victims of sexual assault have access to safe, quality examinations. Please write your Senator and ask them to include the Boxer amendment today.


Watch: The Invisible War:  http://invisiblewarmovie.com/

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About Heather Swift

Heather “Swifty” Swift has been Kicking mAss since 1998. At 28 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a recently single mom with two small babies on her hip. After completing treatment with the thought that cancer was in her rear view mirror she worked, locally, as a volunteer for Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance doing community outreach to be certain that no one faced cancer alone. In 2005, she had a secondary diagnosis of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, which only amped up her commitment to creating positive change and to becoming a strong and effective advocate for the young adult cancer community. Now, at age 42, Swifty, her partner, Brian, and her two teenage children work together locally, nationally and internationally to advocate for change. Swifty regularly meets with legislators to work towards tangible change in health care, legislation that addresses the needs of cancer patients, care-partners, and families. She works directly with clinicians, medical/nursing students, youth & college students, cancer support organizations and others to educate them about the special needs of young adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Swifty is passionate about providing support by connecting people living with cancer to resources, to other cancer survivors, and to mobilizing and training individuals and groups to find their inner advocate. Swifty currently works with a number of amazing, hand-selected organizations, which provide her with opportunities to educate, to advocate, and to change the conversation about cancer and to work to bring an end to the disease. A few include: LiveSTRONG, mAss Kickers, Imerman Angels, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Dusty Showers & The Second Basemen, and Stupid Cancer. Swifty is an oncology nursing student in upstate New York, loves time with her family, paddling sports, and peanut butter. She is a Virgo, but not the really anal-retentive type. Her strange fascination with superheroes makes her popular in geek circles, but it can be endearing. Swifty will be riding a llama across Oregon in July of 2012 and really does believe we can achieve and end to cancer and in world peace. Motto: Never Give Up! Favorite quote: “Our own life has to be our message.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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