President Joe Biden endorses the suggestions of an impartial fee that circumstances of sexual assault within the army must be prosecuted exterior the chain of command.
Biden requested Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin to create a sexual assault evaluation and harassment within the army earlier this yr, and the impartial fee is predicted to launch its findings on Friday, together with suggestions for change.
The president endorsed the report’s suggestions, senior administration officers mentioned throughout a press attraction Thursday – together with transferring prosecution of sexual assault circumstances to particular prosecutors for victims, in addition to coordinators sexual assault response and sufferer advocates exterior the command construction.
After assembly with a whole bunch of survivors, former servicemen, attorneys and extra, the fee discovered that whereas senior leaders say there isn’t a tolerance for harassment within the army, younger girls suffered humiliating language and sexual harassment virtually day by day and had been instructed that was simply what to anticipate.
The fee beneficial that commanders set the requirements to point out that there isn’t a tolerance within the observe of interrupting such habits and talking out.
A 2019 Pentagon report discovered that charges of sexual assault amongst army personnel had elevated lately, with a 38% improve in reported army sexual assaults from 2016 to 2018.
In 2020, a Texas soldier, Vanessa Guillen, was clubbed to loss of life at Fort Hood by one other soldier. Guillen had reporting sexual harassment earlier than she was murdered.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) has introduced a law transfer the choice to prosecute sexual assault circumstances within the army exterior the chain of command.
The impartial fee additionally discovered that victims of sexual assault and harassment carried a heavy burden, with many who reported incidents later regretting it attributable to being ostracized or harassed and having problem accessing to high quality providers.
The report beneficial hiring individuals who would work particularly on stopping sexual harassment within the army and will additionally give attention to on-line harassment. He additionally beneficial that there be extra transparency concerning disciplinary measures for perpetrators.
Over the subsequent few months, the White Home and the Pentagon are anticipated to seek the advice of on how the Protection Division will implement these suggestions, and Biden goals to work with Congress to amend the Uniform Code of Army Justice.
Biden expressed his gratitude to the survivors who shared their tales and made suggestions to the fee, in response to senior officers. The president additionally thanked Gillibrand for her years of advocacy on the issue of sexual assault within the military.
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