FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2017
PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS RESPONDS TO SENATOR JONI ERNST’S SUGGESTION FOR A “BUDDY SYSTEM” ON MILITARY BASES TO PREVENT SEXUAL ASSAULT
Washington, D.C. – This week, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a letter to an Air Force base commander stationed Joint Base San Antonio, suggesting a “buddy system” for trainees on base that would require them to travel in pairs in order to reduce the risk of sexual assault. The idea of implementing a “buddy system” to prevent sexual assault has been widely criticized and contributes to a culture of victim-blaming in the military.
Col. Don Christensen (ret.), the former Chief Prosecutor of the United State Air Force and President of Protect Our Defenders, released the following statement:
“If our recruits have to travel in pairs to avoid being sexually assaulted, we have a major problem. A servicemember should be able to walk on a military base by themselves without the fear of being sexually assaulted. That should be the standard.
“It’s clear that Senator Ernst sees the current system is failing our troops. We call on her to join with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and many of her Republican colleagues in supporting fundamental reform to fix the broken military justice system.”
The Hill: Iowa senator urges buddy system at Air Force base to combat sexual assault
Christian Science Monitor: US military’s new tactic to curtail sexual assaults: nab serial ‘predators’
About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders (POD) is a human rights organization. We are the only national organization solely dedicated to addressing the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military and to combating a culture of pervasive sexual harassment and retribution against victims. We honor, support and give voice to survivors of military sexual assault – including both service members and civilians assaulted by members of the military. We seek reform to ensure all survivors have access to a fair, impartially administered system of justice. 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.