The Guillen family is in Washington, D.C. for a rally and march for justice Thursday, hoping to push Congress in protecting soldiers.
Supporters have been pushing to change federal law for more than a year as Vanessa had confided in her family before she went missing and was murdered that she had been sexually harassed on two separate incidents.
Earlier this year, an Army investigation found that the Houston native was sexually harassed by a supervisor.
Every year, Congress passes the NDAA, or National Defense Authorization Act. This time, there are provisions that reshape how sexual violence is investigated in the Army. In that, advocates want Amendment 3870 passed, which would allow service members to make claims against the government if they're victims of sexual misconduct in the military.
Advocacy groups have pursued this for decades, but it was Vanessa's story that propelled the mission forward, capturing the attention of lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
"In a couple of days or even hours, I will know if justice was made in your honor, sister... I promised you I'd try until the very end. I hope we get the outcome we expect, otherwise there's no telling how disappointed I will be. I miss you and love you," said one of Vanessa's sisters, Mayra, who has been at the forefront of getting Congress to act.
Celebrities have also shown their support for the Guillens since Vanessa's disappearance.
Early on, actress Salma Hayek posted about Vanessa to her millions of followers on social media. She posted again Wednesday night, sharing a graphic about Amendment 3870 and details about Thursday's march in Washington.
In a couple days or even hours I will know if justice was made in your honor sister… I promised you I’d try until the very end. I hope we get the outcome we expect, otherwise there’s no telling how disappointed I will be. I miss you and love you. @vguillen_30 https://t.co/oR9PWxmIEN— Mayra Guillen (@mguilen_) November 17, 2021
Hayek and Eva Longoria were among celebrities who offered their support Thursday, sending in video speeches that were played at the march.
FOR VANESSA ❤️ Supporters from all over the country have started to gather ahead of today’s rally in Washington D.C. We’ll bring you live reports this afternoon on @abc13houston. -Steve#vanessaguillen #forthood #abc13 #texas #houston #htown #military #army pic.twitter.com/O554wQDg3Z— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) November 18, 2021
Steve Campion has been following Vanessa Guillen's story every step of the way. Her life growing up in Houston, her time in the military, the circumstances of her disappearance and death, and her family's push for change are all documented in the ABC13 special "Vanessa Guillen: Remember Her Name," streaming now on ABC13's apps and Hulu.
ABC13'S COVERAGE OF VANESSA GUILLEN
For updates on Vanessa Guillen's story and the movement for justice for sexual misconduct victims in the military, follow Steve Campion on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.