… Last Thursday, I offered an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that would stop funding defense contractors who deny victims of sexual assault their day in court. My efforts were inspired by Jamie Leigh Jones, whose story is a chilling call-to-action, and whose actions to right this wrong a stunning profile in courage.
When Jamie was 19, she was working for then Halliburton subsidiary KBR in Iraq, where she was placed in a barracks with 400 men. She complained about sexual harassment, but KBR took no action and she was eventually drugged and gang-raped by co-workers. When she tried to report what had happened, KBR locked her in a shipping container under armed guard. One of her guards smuggled her a cell phone, which she used to call her dad. Her dad and her Congressman got her back to the States.
Once Jamie was back with her family, she discovered that the fine print in her contract with KBR prevented her from taking her case to court. Since then, she’s been telling and retelling her story around the country, fighting on behalf of victims of sexual violence.
Here are some links to the larger story:
ABC News 20/20 Report
Think Progress Report about the Franken Amendment
Yesterday, by a vote of 68-30, the United States Senate adopted the Jamie Leigh Jones Amendment, ensuring that employers cannot unfairly force victims of sexual assault into arbitration. While Jamie’s fight is not over, from now on victims will have a better shot at seeking something that far too often eludes them: justice….