FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
*** STATEMENT ***
PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS RESPONDS AFTER VOTE ON MILITARY JUSTICE IMPROVEMENT ACT BLOCKED BY SENATE
Washington DC – Today, a vote on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) military sexual assault bill, the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) was blocked. The legislation, which would create an independent and impartial military justice system for service members, was denied a vote by a group of Senators, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
Protect Our Defenders Founder Nancy Parrish released the following statement:
“The ongoing sexual assault epidemic in our armed forces is undermining our war fighting ability. Today, a few Senators decided to stand against the American public, a bi-partisan majority of the senate, and with military brass and the status quo. Justice was delayed, but it won’t be denied. Our service members deserve a justice system equal to the system afforded the civilians they protect.
“We agree with Sen. Graham when he says commanders need more accountability. The problem is today commander have 100 percent authority and zero accountability. The only way they will have more accountability, is if there is transparency. The only way to get transparency is for congress and the president to create a system that holds them accountable.
“We ask President Obama to declare that after 20 years of ‘zero tolerance,’ a year filled with news of retaliation against victims, and a new survey showing no progress over the past eight years, it’s time to fix the military justice system.”
Huffington Post: Senators Shoot Down Gillibrand’s Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill
About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders is a human rights organization. We seek to honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been sexually assaulted while serving their country, and re-victimized by the military adjudication system – a system that often blames the victim and fails to prosecute the perpetrator. Learn more about Protect Our Defenders at www.protectourdefenders.com or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ProtectOurDefenders or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ProtectRDfnders.
Protect Our Defenders partners with Attorney Susan Burke, Burke PLLC to advance lawsuits filed against the DoD and service academies for repeatedly ignoring rape, sexual assault and harassment, failing to prosecute perpetrators and retaliating against the victim.