Department of Defense Panel to meet at UT Austin to Review Military’s Systems Involving Adult Sexual Assault

Dec. 5, 2013

Event: An independent panel will convene at The University of Texas at Austin to discuss the systems used in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of crimes involving adult sexual assault and related offenses under military law.

When: Dec. 11 and 12 from 8:20 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Where: Multipurpose Conference Room 207 of the San Jacinto Residence Hall, at the corner of San Jacinto Boulevard and 21st Street.

Background: Issues and suggestions discussed or brought to the attention of the panel during the meeting will be considered in developing recommendations to improve the effectiveness of systems in the military dealing with adult sexual assault issues.

“We are pleased to welcome the Response Systems Panel to The University of Texas at Austin for this important meeting” said Noël Busch-Armendariz, associate dean for research at the School of Social Work and director of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Our research indicates that the professionals in the response systems need better tools and strategies to more effectively address the pervasiveness and complexity of this crime. This public meeting and the ultimate panel recommendations to Congress will shift the military response. These recommendations will be a pivot toward justice for victims and accountability for offenders.”

The format for the meetings will be a discussion among panelists including secretary of defense appointees and congressional appointees.

The public may submit written comments and requests for oral presentations by emailing the deputy staff director (terri.a.saunders.civ@mail.mil) at least five business days prior to the meeting. All written comments will be treated as public documents. Upon prior written request, oral presentations by members of the public will be permitted each day during the last 15 minutes of the meeting, on a first-come basis. For more information, visit http://responsesystemspanel.whs.mil.

The Response Systems Panel held previous public meetings in Washington, D.C., this year during June, September and early November.

Panel members appointed by the secretary of defense include the Honorable Barbara S. Jones, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (retired); Mai Fernandez, executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime; Former U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman of New York; Vice Adm. James Houck, U.S. Navy (retired); and Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, U.S. Army (retired).

Congressional appointees include Harvey Bryant, commonwealths attorney of Virginia Beach; Brig. Gen. Malinda Dunn, U.S. Army (retired); Col. Holly Cook, U.S. Army (retired); and Professor Elizabeth Hillman of the University of California's Hastings Law School.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of the President, 512 475 7847;  Maria Andrea Campetella, School of Social Work, 512-471-1458.