LEFT OF DAYTON

Press Release Regarding the Murder of Maria Lauterbach | January 18, 2008

Press release from:

WOMEN ORGANIZING WOMEN / VETERANS ADVOCACY

San Miguel de Allende, Gto, Mexico, Seattle, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.

It is with heavy hearts that the women and men of vetwow.com are compelled, once again, to recognize and publicize the inexplicable and tragic loss of another rape victim who came forward to testify against her perpetrator. We refuse to put the term, “alleged” in that phrase because it does not do justice to Maria Lauterbach’s strength and fortitude to carry on in the face of such adversity.

We are alarmed by the appearance of impropriety on behalf of the Marine Corps. We are concerned that this will be yet one more dangerous precedent set for Military Sexual Trauma victims service wide. Maria’s status as UA [unauthorized absence] SHOULD have been alarming because of her late term pregnancy, and her status as a victim-witness in a sexual assault. These circumstances alone should have inspired her command superiors to protect her from unwanted attention and violent assault.

Many members of our organization have come forward with accounts that bear striking similarities to this case. Victim character assassination, lack of meaningful protection, and the horror of having to live and work in close quarters with one’s attacker[s]are all-too common occurrances in these situations.

We would like to remind the public of what is lost in this case and every case like it where rape victims living or deceased are thrown away:

One of your best and brightest

A patriot

A young mother

A constituent

A future leader

A child that never took a breath whose lost potential cannot be calculated.

A trained professional

And the belief that our military, and our government can be trusted to care for its own.

All of that is gone.

Our prayers and hearts go out to Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child, and all those individuals who held her dear.

###

Call to Action

We encourage the public to pressure the military to change it’s way of handling sexual assault cases. The perpetrator should be punished and the victim protected. Please inform military recruits that they have very little to no support if they are assaulted.

http://vetwow.com/ Provides liaison services for accessing VA benefits and treatment for active duty and veteran military sexual assault victims.

Contact Information

Susan Avila-Smith

Director, Vetwow

smith715@comcast.net

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61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

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