WASHINGTON D.C., DC — U.S. lawmakers will be among the many joining Spc. Vanessa Guillen's family on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Thursday morning to call for justice for the late Fort Hood soldier.
The "March For Justice For Vanessa Guillen" event started at 9 a.m. CT and was followed by a news conference on Capitol Hill at 11 a.m. CT.
The purpose of the event was to highlight the "I Am Vanessa Guillen Act," a bill that would allow soldiers who are victims of sexual violence to report incidents outside their chain-of-command.
"We are marching for Justice for Vanessa Guillen," a news flyer of the event reads. "We will not stop fighting to protect our Soldiers from sexual misconduct in the Military."
The family's lawyer, Natalie Khawam told 6 News back in September that Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) agreed to add the bill as an amendment to the national defense authorization act.
The Guillen family and Khawam have been working with lawmakers to pass the act in an effort to reform the military justice system by improving how sexual violence incidents are addressed by military officials so soldiers feel confident about coming forward with reports.
"Sen. Gillibrand's Amendment to include Claims for our Soldiers MUST be included in the 2022 NDAA, otherwise there will be no accountability," the news flyer reads. "Without a right to file a claim, our Soldiers have no relief. Our Soldiers need and deserve relief!"
In Texas, a similar bill called the Vanessa Guillen Act, was signed in June and went into effect Sept. 1. The Texas version of the bill aims to protect state military members who report sexual assault without fear of retaliation, lack of confidentiality or concern that nothing will be done if they report.
Guillen was killed on April 22, 2020 in an armory room on Fort Hood by Spc. Aaron Robinson, according to a criminal complaint in the case. Robinson, with the help of his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar, dismembered Guillen's body and buried the remains near the Leon River in Bell County, per the complaint.
Her body was found just over two months later on June 30, 2020. Robinson shot and killed himself the next day as authorities closed in on him to arrest him.
Guillen told her family she was sexually harassed but they said she did not report it for fear of retaliation.
Aguilar is charged with tampering with documents or proceedings and conspiracy to tamper with documents or proceedings for her role in Guillen's death and disappearance.