Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act hit another roadblock on Thursday when a vote on the bill was blocked in the Senate, but it won’t be the last the chamber sees of the bill.
The Department of Defense’s long-awaited report to President Obama on military sexual assault doesn’t show nearly enough progress in dealing with the problem, advocates for survivors say.
A bipartisan group of senators said Gillibrand’s bill is the best way to protect military sexual assault victims—and that the president could convince Congress of this “overnight.”
Signed on Thursday, the law takes the prosecution of military sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and into the hands of civilian prosecutors in California.
The House passed its version of the defense bill last week, with some wins and losses on sexual assault and a few boons for new moms.
After a year of focused debate, advocates for changing a culture of rampant sexual assault within the military were rebuked by a 55-45 procedural vote that did not allow the measure to advance to a full vote.
At a hearing that featured the searing testimony of survivors of sexual assault in the military, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told RH Reality Check that her proposal to remove the prosecution of sex crimes from the chain of command would see debate on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
An attempt to bring up for debate measures designed to address sexual assault in the military, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s bid to remove prosecution of sex crimes from the chain of command, was scuttled on Monday.
The military’s emphasis on discipline, rank, and teamwork, combined with rule-based conducts, regimented eating, and grueling physical training mirrors the mindset often associated with eating disorders.
An AP investigation of sexual assault cases at U.S. military bases in Japan reveals erratic application of justice, and the senator suspects there’s more to be found stateside.