(WISCONSIN) — Today, three women veterans from Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District held a press conference expressing their outrage following revelations of Derrick Van Orden’s troubling history of sexual harassment in the United States Navy.

Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported that in his 2015 book, Derrick Van Orden bragged about sexually harassing two women naval officers by exposing them to a male Lieutenant’s genitals without their consent.


Blair, veteran and survivor of sexual assault while in the US Military:
  • “Van Orden’s book was published only four years ago and that disturbs me. It reads from a violent and distorted perspective and the maturity of an adolescent.”
  • “He has made no effort to convey shame or remorse for a frankly gross mistake he made in the past. And this is a terrible quality in a leader.”
  • “Someday, I hope we will see the sick human beings who treat other human beings like we are less because we are not as sick as them, as contagious. People like this do not need power. They need help.”
  • “Sexual crime needs to be properly prosecuted instead of made into a fetish. Perpetrators should get mental help along with the victims they create, or at the very least keep this toxic discourse out of my state.”
Karri Kline, veteran who was one of the first female Naval Academy graduates:
  • “I have dealt with PTSD, anxiety, and depression, my entire adult life. I’m 62 now and I’m seeing a therapist once a month, just sort of checking in and dealing with things as they come up.”
  • “This book and his statements are first of all, utterly ridiculous. The idea that only one-third of American men are real men and two-thirds are wimpy is unconscionable. I can’t even wrap my head around it.”
Helen Kelly, veteran, attorney, and former sexual harassment prevention instructor for the US Navy:
  • “Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues today and it adversely impacts the careers of women as well as other marginalized sailors, other armed forces service members, and even results in the death of service members, which we continue to hear about on a regular basis.”
  • “Now we have a congressional candidate who glamorizes his own sexual harassment of two young female ensigns under the guise of conducting medical training at the expense of his superior officer. This conduct is totally reprehensible and not the qualities of a leader of the highest moral character, a person advocating the lost art of manhood, which just respects others, does not represent the values of the hardworking, decent folks of Western Wisconsin let alone the United States Navy.”
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