Vanessa Guillen: The murdered Houston soldier’s family, lawmakers and supporters march to get laws changed

WASHINGTON, DC (KTRK) – Vanessa Guillen’s family and supporters are once again fighting to prevent sexual abuse in the military for the nation’s capital.

The Guillen family is in Washington, DC for a demonstration and march for justice on Thursday, hoping to pressure Congress to protect soldiers.

Supporters have been pushing to change federal law for more than a year as Vanessa had confided in her family before disappearing and being murdered because she had been sexually harassed in two separate incidents.

Earlier this year, an Army investigation found that the Houston native was sexually harassed by a supervisor.

Each year, Congress passes the NDAA or National Defense Authorization Act. This time, there are regulations reshaping how sexual violence is being investigated in the military. In this context, advocates want Amendment 3870 to be adopted, which will allow civil servants to make claims against the government if they are victims of sexual offenses in the military.

Lawyers’ groups have been pursuing this for decades, but it was Vanessa’s story that propelled the mission forward and caught the attention of lawmakers, including speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jackie Speier.

“In a few days or even hours, I will know if justice was done to your honor, sister … I promised you I would try to the last. I hope we get the result we expect, otherwise it is there is no telling where I will be disappointed. I miss you and love you, “said one of Vanessa’s sisters, Mayra, who has spearheaded Congress’ action.

Celebrities have also shown their support for Guillens since Vanessa’s disappearance.

Early on, actress Salma Hayek wrote about Vanessa to her millions of followers on social media. She posted again Wednesday night, sharing a graphic of Amendment 3870 and details of Thursday’s march in Washington.

Hayek is among the celebrities invited to today’s events. Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Mark Cuban and Jada Pinkett Smith are also listed as invited.

Steve Campion has followed Vanessa Guillen’s story every step of the way. Her life while growing up in Houston, her time in the military, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and death, and her family’s push for change are all documented in the ABC13 special “Vanessa Guillen: Remember Her Name,” now streaming on ABC13’s apps and Hulu.


For updates on Vanessa Guillen’s story and the justice movement for victims of sexual abuse in the military, follow Steve Campion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.


Give a Comment