WASHINGTON (December 11, 2020) — Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director, Carl Blake released the following statement in response to the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report “Senior VA Officials’ Response to a Veteran’s Sexual Assault Allegations” released yesterday.
“The unconscionable details laid out in this report are just another sign of the pervasive culture that allows for sexual assault and harassment, as well as retaliation against those who raise these issues, to continue within the VA. They must be addressed in order to effect systemic change.
We call on the President of the United States to fire Secretary Robert Wilkie, if he doesn’t resign. Additionally, the senior leaders who enabled this to happen and allowed this culture to fester should be held accountable. Condoning unacceptable behavior through inaction has, for too long, defined the culture of the VA.
Immediate systemic change is needed to ensure all veterans have access to VA care without fear of assault or harassment. Our members, and all veterans who utilize the VA, have earned a safe place to receive care, one free of sexual assault and harassment. We will hold the future VA leadership accountable for this necessary change in culture.”
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For almost 75 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Learn more at pva.org.