Kuster Protects Service Members from Sexual Harassment
Washington, July 28, 2022
**The full Subcommittee hearing is available here, and Kuster’s full remarks are available here**
**26% of female employees and 14% of male employees at the VA reported experiencing sexual harassment from 2014 to 2016**
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) spoke about the urgent need to take action against sexual harassment affecting the VA workforce during a Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Progress Made? – Ending Sexual Harassment at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” During the hearing, Kuster questioned VA officials and experts about why action has been delayed to address sexual harassment in the VA and the implementation of recommendations from the 2020 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, which was completed at Kuster’s urging.
“No one should be subjected to harassment at work, and a failure to address harassment against employees at the VA has a real impact on the care and services received by our nation's veterans,” said Rep. Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “The medical and support staff working to care for veterans should be able to safely do their jobs without facing this kind of mistreatment. That’s why in 2018, I urged the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and publish a report on how to address sexual harassment affecting the VA workforce. But two years later, we still have not seen sufficient action. It is imperative that all of GAO’s recommendations be fully implemented as quickly as possible. I will keep working to make sure that is the case and stand up for our nation’s veterans and VA workforce.”
Kuster is a fierce advocate for New Hampshire’s veterans. In April 2021, she helped introduce the Improving VA Accountability to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Act alongside Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01), legislation to formally codify the GAO report’s recommendations and thereby direct the VA to fully implement them.