Last week, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted for a measure to strengthen protections for women in the military. The measure addressing the crisis of sexual assaults in the military was a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While the NDAA included some provisions addressing the crisis of sexual assaults in the military, a majority of House Republicans voted against this bipartisan, stronger provision supported by Perlmutter, and the amendment failed.
Perlmutter said, "Once again, House Republicans chose partisan political gamesmanship rather than standing up for our brave military service members. This measure should have had more bipartisan support, to ensure victims of sexual violence receive the justice, dignity and care they earned and deserve. I am hopeful my Senate colleagues can include these important protections when they consider the overall Defense bill later this summer."
Some of the provisions included in the NDAA strengthening protections for victims of sexual assault in the military include, among other things:
Strips commanding officers of the unilateral authority to dismiss a finding by a court martial.
Prohibits commanding officers from reducing guilty findings by a court martial to guilty of a lesser offense.
Requires that service members found guilty of sexual offenses, including rape or sexual assault, be dismissed or dishonorably discharged.
Allows victims of sexual assault to apply for a permanent change of station or unit transfer so they no longer have to serve next to their offended.
Reaffirms commanding officers' ability to remove or temporarily reassign service members who are the alleged perpetrators of sexual assault.