FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2016
PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS STATEMENT ON NDAA PROVISION THAT WOULD INCREASE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF MILITARY TRAINEES
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed an amendment proposed by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), which criminalizes inappropriate sexual contact with military trainees and recruits. The provision, which has been included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report, would help stop military trainers and recruiters from preying on trainees and recruits by making any sexual contact between Military Training Instructors (MTIs) and trainees illegal and subject to court martial.
Col. Don Christensen (ret.), the former Chief Prosecutor of the United State Air Force and President of Protect Our Defenders, released the following statement:
“This amendment will hold military trainers accountable for abusing the power imbalance during military training by criminalizing sexual conduct between military training instructors (MTIs) and basic trainees, between instructors and students at the military academies, and between recruiters and recruits, and eliminating the use of consent as a defense for such conduct.
“In response to scandals involving widespread sexual abuse of trainees, such as the Lackland Air Force Base scandal, Rep. Speier determined that consent should not be considered a defense for MTIs who engage in sexual activity with trainees. She continues to be the leading voice in the House of Representatives fighting for victims of military sexual assault and for trainees subjected to abuse during basic training. Protect Our Defenders worked with Rep. Speier in support of her amendment and are encouraged by its inclusion in the final FY 17 NDAA bill.”
About Protect Our Defenders: Protect Our Defenders (POD) 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. POD provides pro bono casework and legal assistance to survivors. 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.