As we prepare to vote on military sexual assault in the coming days, I can’t stop thinking about this fact: There were 26,000 instances of sexual assault in our military a year ago – and 50% of female victims said they didn’t report the crime because they believed that nothing would be done.
We have to remove this stain from one of our nation’s proudest institutions.
I’ve worked closely with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to develop the Military Justice Improvement Act to address this most fundamental failure: our broken system leaves victims with nowhere to turn because they fear they won’t be taken seriously or could face retaliation.
Our legislation creates transparency by taking the decision to prosecute outside the chain of command. This straightforward, common sense change will end the cycle of sexual assault and fear. Help us pass it.
Our military’s traditions of honor and respect are too important to continue to be plagued by this issue.
All the men and women who volunteer to protect our country deserve to know it will protect them. They need to know that if they come forward with a report, their cases will be handled fairly and impartially.
We strengthen our military when victims of sexual assault have the confidence to come forward and report crimes, and we remove fear and stigma from the process.
We strengthen our military when we are able to deliver fair and impartial justice on behalf of victims.