Urge the Senate to Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA)

Urge the Senate to Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

We want this outreach campaign to accomplish two objectives: 1) Increase public education on military sexual assault and the importance of MJIA. 2) Encourage Congress to support MJIA.
Background:
Last year, an anonymous Department of Defense survey indicated that 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact occurred during 2012. Yet only 3,374 cases of sexual assault were reported.
o 62% of victims who reported sexual assault experienced retaliation.
o Of the 67% of women who experienced unwanted sexual contact but did not report, 47% said fear of retaliation or reprisal prevented them from reporting.
o 43% heard about negative experiences from other victims who had reported.
o 50% thought nothing would be done.

Strong action is required to restore service members’ faith and confidence in the military justice system. Despite two decades of sexual assault scandals that include Tailhook (1991), Aberdeen (1996), the Air Force Academy (2003) and Lackland (2012), no significant progress has been made in ending sexual assault in the ranks.
o Our military is rooted in an obsolete, 18th century justice system in which commanders, instead of highly trained military legal personnel, administer justice.
o Because the commander making these decisions is in the accused’s chain of command, military justice suffers from inherent bias.
What the Military Justice Improvement Act Does:
The Military Justice Improvement Act reassigns the convening authority powers for serious crimes to an experienced, impartial military prosecutor. The change applies to all serious crimes that can be punished with more than one year of confinement except for crimes specific to the military, such as a failure to obey a lawful order.

For more information on MJIA, visit http://bit.ly/Vets4MJIA

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