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Lipinski's SOTU Guest Highlights Need to Address Scourge of Sexual Abuse

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) has announced that his guest for tomorrow night’s State of the Union Address will be Faith Ann Rys.  She’s a clinical therapist who specializes in the treatment of high school and college-age women who have been sexually assaulted.  She is an expert witness on sexual assault, having testified in over 350 cases.

“We must do all we can to fight the scourge of sexual abuse and all harassment,” stated Rep. Lipinski.  “The fact that our society is now finally being forced to address this issue is good not just for women but for everyone.  Because of Faith Ann’s expertise, experience, and dedication to this issue, I invited her to be my guest and have a platform to speak out about what she believes should be done.  Her voice is one that should be heard locally and across the country as we grapple with this issue.”

 “Sexual assaults happen more frequently than is reported,” said Rys.  “People do not report because they fear reprisal, convince themselves that what happened to them was not that bad, question if others will believe them, worry they’ll be told they asked for it, don't want to be labeled a rape victim, blame themselves, and can't bear to relive the pain.  Real reform needs to take place in the way all facets of our society handle sexual assaults and harassment, and each and every one of us needs to be part of the reform process.”

Lipinski’s legislation to help combat the problem of sexual assault in the military was included as an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act and was signed into law.  The bill, the SANE Deployment Act, requires each branch of the military to improve the training for and expand the number of professionally trained sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) to assist in investigations and provide specialized medical treatment and care to victims.

Recently, Lipinski cosponsored the ME TOO Congress Act to greatly improve the system for filing and settling harassment claims from congressional employees. 

“There is so much that we as a society need to do to ensure that all individuals are treated with dignity at all times,” said Lipinski.  “I am hopeful that this moment will cause a real significant move toward that goal.”