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Joni Ernst: I Was Sexually Harassed In The Military

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Iowa Republican Senatorial candidate Joni Ernst speaks during a meeting with supporters, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Waukee, Iowa. Some Iowa Republicans are quietly anxious that issues addressed during the U.S. Senate primary campaign will haunt the party come November, despite chipper talk that the five-way race is a healthy way to ignite the GOP. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst revealed she was sexually harassed during her time in the military, opening up about the issue in an interview with Time.

“I had comments, passes, things like that,” Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, said. “These were some things where I was able to say stop and it simply stopped but there are other circumstances both for women and for men where they don’t stop and they may be afraid to report it.”

Ernst said her personal experience is why she supports taking sexual assault cases out of the military chain of command, a move many Republicans and the Pentagon oppose.

"It is quite possible that I'm going to get push-back from people that I hope to have as Republican colleagues in the Senate, and from military leaders also, but I'm not doing this to go against them," Ernst told the Des Moines Register on Friday. "What I am doing is saying: 'This is a problem. It has not been resolved in the past couple decades. If we were handling it properly in the military, we would not have the issues that we have today.'"

Ernst will face Rep. Bruce Braley (D) at the polls in November to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Read more at Time.

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