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Received this e-mail today from Senator Brian Schatz (D. HI) today:

So many brave men and women join our armed services to protect and promote this American value – only to then be denied justice for themselves when they need it most.

In 2012 alone, there were an estimated 26,000 cases of rape, sexual assault, or unwanted sexual contact in our military. Seven out of eight of those cases went unreported.

Unlike any other workplace in America, the decision of whether to prosecute a reported case of sexual assault in the military lies in the hands of the assault survivor’s employers, through the military chain of command. Half of female survivors in the military said they didn’t report unwanted sexual contact because of doubts that military commanders would seek justice for their cases.

My good friend Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced legislation in the Senate to increase effective prosecution of sexual assault in the armed services – moving the decision of whether to prosecute a case to independent, unbiased military prosecutors.

The Military Justice Improvement Act has gained strong bipartisan support and it’s coming up for a critical vote in the Senate as soon as this week – but it will be close.

Survivors of sexual assault in our military know that our current policy isn’t working. Sign here to urge the Senate to protect our servicemembers by passing the Military Justice Improvement Act.

The Military Justice Improvement Act would give the dignity of an effective system of justice to the survivors of sexual assault in the military, while still leaving commanders in charge of non-judicial punishments, preserving important traditions of the military justice system.

The military justice system for sexual assault cases needs to be reformed. Survivors need their voices to be heard.

The Senate vote to overcome a filibuster of this legislation will be close, but your voice can help make the difference.

Add your name here to urge the Senate to pass this vital legislation.


Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator

Click here to add your name:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 04:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, IGTNT Advisory Group, and This Week in the War on Women.

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