National Women Veterans & Service Women Sign-On Letter -- #JusticeForVanessaGuillen


4 July 2020


This is a grassroots effort by women veterans, service women, and supporters, for #JusticeForVanessaGuillen, in solidarity with the Guillén family, calling for a Congressional investigation into her disappearance, the resignation of every person in her chain of command at Fort Hood, Texas, including the Commanding General, the shutting down of Fort Hood, and a halt to all enlistments in the military until justice is served.

Women veterans, servicewomen, and organizational supporters: sign this national open letter that will be delivered to Congressional Leaders and Department of Defense leadership by women veterans and service women demanding justice:


See the full letter. Endorse here.



July 4, 2020

Dear Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Charles Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Senator James Inhofe, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Adam Smith, and Congressman Mac Thornberry,

We, service women and women veterans who have served our nation in military uniform in both peacetime and war, alongside organizations who support us, write to you today to demand justice for Spc. Vanessa Guillen, who was murdered by a fellow Soldier and failed by the military justice system.

For over two months, the disturbing circumstances surrounding Spc. Guillen’s disappearance and the environment of sexual harassment she endured in her unit prior to her murder have gripped the attention of various communities across the country and incited a resounding need for the utmost accountability and attention. Despite decades of unquestionable proof, advocacy, and cries for change, cases of sexual violence perpetrated by our fellow service members and leaders have continued to rise. Structural racism is endemic throughout the armed forces, creating a double burden for service members of color who have endured sexual harassment and assault. Frequently, the destructive traumas these issues generate are perpetrated by the very chain of command we are told to rely on. Too many leaders remain either unwilling to, or incapable of, putting a firm stop to sexual assault and sexual harassment, nor do they pursue justice when these crimes occur in their units.

Despite recent updates in the case the following facts are immutable: that Spc. Vanessa Guillen told her family she was being sexually harassed at her unit; that Spc. Vanessa Guillen feared she would not be believed, and feared retaliation if she reported the sexual harassment; and that thousands of current and former service women recognize themselves in Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s experience, sharing their own stories and under the viral hashtag #IAmVanessaGuillen. Their experiences expose the military's systemic and longstanding failure to effectively address rampant sexual assault and sexual harassment in the ranks.

Systemic failures in the military include:
• Upholding a culture that fosters conditions leading directly to sexual assault and sexual harassment of service women. In the latest report released by the Pentagon, about 20,500 service members reported experiencing sexual assault. Reports of sexual assault continue to increase.

• Upholding a culture that protects the very people who perpetuate sexual assault and harassment, thus creating a safe haven for sexual predators within the ranks. The military fails time and again to prosecute the perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment. Of the 6,236 reports in 2019, about 90% never made it to court martial.

• Upholding a culture that fails to hold accountable the leaders who sweep sexual assault and sexual harassment in their units under the rug, and who tolerate and perpetuate retaliation toward anyone who comes forward and reports. In 2019, 73% of alleged retaliators were a superior in the chain of command of the reporter.

We demand that not one more person, regardless of gender, should ever have to face sexual harassment or sexual assault in order to serve their Nation. We demand justice for the hundreds of thousands of service women who have recently revisited the trauma they endured when they too were in Spc. Guillen’s situation. We demand gender and racial justice for our sister-in-arms, Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

For justice to be served:
1) We call for an independent Congressional investigation of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

2) We call for the immediate relief and replacement of Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s entire chain of command at Fort Hood, up to and including the Commanding General of Fort Hood.

3) We call for the shutdown of Fort Hood, in support of the demands by the Guillen family.

4) We call for a boycott on enlistment—for young Americans to refuse to enlist or accept a commission into any branch of the Armed Forces until these demands are met and the systemic problems with sexual assault and sexual harassment in military culture are effectively addressed.

We demand swift justice for Vanessa.
We demand: Not one more.



See the full letter. Endorse here.