Saturday, June 13, 2015

National Defense Authorization Act: 2015 Military and Women's Issue

Please take action and forward this to your members, allies, coalition partners.

The Senate is continuing consideration of the FY 16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015 and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- New York) will be offering her bill – the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 – as amendment 1578. A vote on that amendment will be TUESDAY, June 16, if the Senate’s plans run smoothly. We are asking everyone to call their senators Washington, D.C. offices ASAP!

MJIA will require an experienced special prosecutor to handle military sexual assault cases, ultimately taking the process out of the chain of command.
The message is simplePlease vote for Sen. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015. It is essentially the same as legislation from the 113th Congress, but Sen. Gillibrand has added improvements to address retaliation and obstruction of justice.  She will be offering this bill as an amendment to the defense authorization bill on Tuesday, June 16.

If you need a review of the issue, talking points or the latest reports, please go to        

NOW has been working on improving the military’s response to sexual assault for many years now. While Congress has passed – and the military has initiated – many improvements, women and men in the military are still experiencing sexual assault and finding little recourse or confidence in the military justice system. Cover-ups and retaliation are still high, and victims still do not report this crime fearing that little will be done to the perpetrator and that their careers will be over.

The main objective of the bill is to improve the assault survivor’s access to justice by removing the decision to prosecute these crimes from the military “chain of command.” Also, there is a new provision in the bill that protects victims against retaliation. We need this policy changed immediately. According to the Pentagon, 62% of female sexual assault victims who reported their assaults experienced retaliation – a rate unchanged over the last two years.

We must have an independent, non-biased and experienced military prosecutor system to more effectively handle sexual assault complaints.

Please contact your senators and ask them to vote for Amendment 1578 on Tuesday, June 16. Please contact your senators’ offices NOW!

Our top focus should be on these senators:
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Ia.); Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mt.); Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) Sen. Jon Tester (D- Mt.); Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.); and, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)

Here are the chiefs of staff for key senators who need to be called and urged to vote for the Military Justice Improvement Act, Amendment 1578, on Tuesday:

Bonnie Grabenhofer
Vice President ActionNational Organization for Women1100 H Street, NW, Suite 300Washington, DC 20005202-628-8669 ext. 110

1 comment:

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