Military Justice Improvement Act Should Pass with Defense Authorization Bill Print
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 22 November 2013 11:41

This week, I worked to build support for Senator Gillibrand’s reforms to the military justice system.  I’m glad to be an original cosponsor of the Military Justice Improvement Act.  This is greatly needed legislation and it’s the right thing to do.

According to a recent Defense Department report, 50 percent of female victims stated they did not report the crime because they believed that nothing would be done with their report.  Seventy-four percent of females and 60 percent of males perceived one or more barriers to reporting sexual assault.  Sixty-two percent of victims who reported a sexual assault indicated they perceived some form of professional, social, or administrative retaliation.  This acts as a terrible deterrent to reporting sexual assault.  By allowing this situation to continue, we are putting at risk the men and women who have volunteered to place their lives on the line.  We are also seriously damaging military morale and readiness.

Sexual assault is a law enforcement matter, not a military one.  Taking prosecutions out of the hands of commanders and giving them to professional prosecutors, who are independent of the chain of command, will help ensure impartial justice for the men and women of our armed forces.  An advisory committee appointed by the Secretary of Defense himself supports this bipartisan reform initiative, and the Military Justice Improvement Act should pass along with this year’s defense authorization bill.

Video can be found here.


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