The Family of Slain Soldier Vanessa Guillen Seeking Millions
It was a Texas news story that shocked the nation and created reform in the military system, but according to the family of the slain Ft. Hood soldier, Vanessa Guillen, who died at the hands of her harasser, reform is not enough.
Vanessa's family is seeking $35 million dollars in damages.
If you are unfamiliar with Vanessa's story, Guillen went missing in April of 2020. Her remains were found two months later and the Ft. Hood soldier whom she told her superiors was sexually harassing her before her death, committed suicide before he was brought to justice.
The Vanessa Guillen Act, SB-623 which will go into effect on September 1st, 2022, allows "active members of any branch of the military to report sexual assault outside of the normal military chain of command," in the hopes of saving future lives of soldiers who dedicate their lives to protect ours.
The family of Vanessa Guillen, who was only 20 years old at the time of her death, is seeking damages on the basis of sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy, and wrongful death. The lawsuit recalls that not once but twice Guillen was sexually harassed during her time as a soldier. She told her family it was serious enough that Guillen started to have suicidal thoughts as a coping mechanism, which according to reports she told her family that she did not report because of her fear of retaliation.
As the news story broke, more women and men came forward to share their stories of military sexual harassment, making reform a necessity. Our thoughts are with these victims and their families.
Ten Most Wanted Fugitives in Texas January 2022