Protect Our Defenders News Blog


Statement: Protect Our Defenders Says Pentagon’s Changes Still Fall Short of Fundamental Reform

Protect Our Defenders issued the following statement today:

Washington DC – Today, the Pentagon announced changes to address the epidemic of military sexual assault.

Protect Our Defenders Executive Director and former Navy JAG Taryn Meeks released the following statement:

“Today the Pentagon announced a number of changes to the military justice system. While we support efforts that attack the status quo, these changes are mostly small tweaks to a broken system. With one exception, these changes simply do not constitute fundamental reform and are not sufficient to address the crisis.

One of the Pentagon changes would provide victims of sexual assault with their own legal representation in each branch. This is an important step in the right direction. We applaud their efforts to support victims and protect their rights. Protect Our Defenders has been calling for the creation of legal representation for victims of sexual assault. We filed an amicus brief to the military’s highest court in support of the Air Force’s Special Victim Counsel pilot program. Congress must still codify this right to ensure it is a permanent change so that victims are ensured greater protection. We will be watching closely to see how this change is implemented throughout the branches.

Read the full statement.