Bill Would Help Victims of Military Sex Crimes

Congresswoman Jackie Speir is taking the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act to Washington.
Congresswoman Jackie Speir is taking the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act to Washington.
TAMPA (2011-12-06) -

When soldiers are raped, sexually assaulted or harassed in the military, they are required to report that abuse to their immediate supervisor. But sometimes that supervisor is also the one committing the abuse. A new bill by California Congresswoman Jackie Speir (D) seeks to change that.

It's called the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act. The goal is to change the way sexual trauma is handled in the military. The bill would get rid of the non-judicial punishments. It would also created a separate office with experts and investigations and a unit to provide medical services to refer the victims to medical care.

"The military is a bit of a sacred cow," Speir said. "No one wants to look like they’re taking the military on. I’m not interested in taking the military on, I’m just interested in ridding the military of this scorch. The stories are horrific. The stories send chills up and down people’s spines when they hear them."

Speir says right now she's working on getting co-sponsors. Currently, the bill has 65.

Speir says the next step will be to seek a hearing in front of the Armed Services Committee.

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