Lawmakers reach deal to review how military handles sexual assault cases

“We do not comment on our communications with members of Congress,” said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman. “While not perfe...


“We do not comment on our communications with members of Congress,” said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman.

“While not perfect, the deal is far from a setback for survivors and their advocates,” said Lynn Rosenthal, chair of an independent review panel that Mr Austin appointed this year. to make recommendations on the matter. “Instead, it represents a historic step towards justice.”

General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had long opposed the changes, but admitted last spring that junior enlisted troops had largely lost faith that sexual assault cases would be dealt with. fairly.

The movement gained momentum last year after the death of Vanessa Guillen, an army specialist who, according to the police, was killed by another soldier in Fort Hood, Texas. The case sparked a thorough examination of the military base culture and the army at large in which attacks have remained omnipresent. Years of small legislation did little to stem the problem, and Ms Gillibrand, along with Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, who had also worked on the legislation for years, were often pushed back by his fellow lawmakers and Pentagon officials.

Senator Joni Ernst, Republican from Iowa and retired National Guard Lt. Col., said she own experience of sexual assault informed his perspective on the issue, which in turn influenced other Republicans to support such efforts this year.

The new law will take two years to implement, lawmakers said.

In 2019, the The Ministry of Defense has found whereas there were 7,825 reports of sexual assault involving soldiers as victims, a 3% increase from 2018. The conviction rate for cases remained unchanged from 2018 to 2019; 7 percent of cases the command took action on resulted in conviction, the lowest rate since the department began reporting in 2010. An independent body 2020 review found that over 30 percent of penetrative sex offense charges should not have gone to court due to insufficient evidence.

“While this deal clearly does not include everything that my colleagues and I have asked for,” Ms. Speier said, “it is a giant leap for survivors of sexual assault and marks a turning point in the fight for justice for those who failed by the mainstream system, and the family members of those killed or who committed suicide as a result of this failure.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Lawmakers reach deal to review how military handles sexual assault cases
Lawmakers reach deal to review how military handles sexual assault cases
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