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Loyola hosts lecture on epidemic of sexual assaults in military

Loyola press release - October 7, 2013

Anu Bhagwati, executive director and co-founder of the Service Women's Action Network, will present a free lecture on the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military, Thursday, Oct. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in Miller Hall 205. It is open to the Loyola community and lunch will be provided.

Under Bhagwati’s leadership, Service Women's Action Network has spearheaded national policy reform, legislation and litigation to end military rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and to eliminate all barriers to equal opportunity for servicewomen. According to the Department of Defense, an estimated 19,300 sexual assaults occurred in the military in 2010, and yet only 13.5 percent were reported.

Bhagwati has testified numerous times before Congress, advised the White House and the United Nations, and spoken to countless audiences on challenges faced by military women, including access to combat assignments, military sexual violence, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, reproductive justice and the VA health care and benefits system.

A former captain and company commander, Bhagwati served as a Marine officer from 1999 to 2004 and was the second woman to complete the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer school, earning a black belt in close combat techniques.

Service Women's Action Network's mission is to transform military culture by securing equal opportunity and freedom to serve without discrimination, harassment or assault and to reform veterans' services to ensure high quality health care and benefits for women veterans and their families.

Bhagwati’s lecture is sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center and the College of Law. For more information, contact Julie Thibodaux, interim director of the Women’s Resource Center.

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