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Time reports that “Republican State Sen. Joni Ernst, who is running for Senate and served more than 20 years in the military, said Friday that she was sexually harassed in the military and, given her experience, is backing the removal of cases of sexual assault from the military chain of command, a position that puts her at odds with much of the GOP.”  

“’I had comments, passes, things like that,’ Ernst tells TIME. ‘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.’”  

“If elected Ernst, who was deployed in Iraq in 2003-2004 and currently commands the largest battalion in the Iowa Army National Guard, would be the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate. Ernst says the issue is a personal one for her ever since she volunteered for a battered women’s shelter for two years in college, carrying a pager for the hospital and helping women overcome the physical and emotional results of abuse. Because of this experience, Ernst is expected on Friday in an evening speech the Iowa Federation of Republican Women’s Diamond Anniversary dinner in Sioux City to endorse taking cases of sexual assault outside of the chain of command.”

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