SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Veterans’ groups met with Santa Clara County officials on Tuesday for a call to action against military sexual trauma.

The event was held at the Santa Clara County Government Center as part of a grassroots movement to end sexual assaults and to support needed policy changes to the military.

Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, the director of the Office of Women’s Policy in Santa Clara County said with a handful bills introduced at the federal level over the past year, it’s a critical time for a movement for military sexual assault survivors.

“If their stories and voices are not part of the dialogue, we’re missing a big picture. My hope is what we’re doing here in Santa Clara County can be replicated across the state,” Peralez-Dieckmann said.

Among those testifying in the supervisor’s chambers was U.S. Army Veteran Charlotte Bear. She is a survivor of four counts of sexual assault and is a facilitator of the Moffett Field Collaborative.

“This is a violent crime issue and it’s a travesty and it’s an employer issue because no other federal employer would allow this to stand with these kinds of numbers and statistics without a reformational policy,” she said.

San Jose City Councilman Don Rocha was among invited elected officials.

“I’m concerned as a father with a daughter, you look at her future and her opportunities and her career and you want to make sure that she has protection no matter what she chooses to do,” said Rocha.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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