Congressman Michael R. Turner (R-OH) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) re-introduced legislation that calls on the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop a comprehensive system to prevent sexual assault in the military. Turner, the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, introduced this legislation in the 110th Congress with the Senate support of current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Women serving in our Armed Forces who come forward and report a sexual assault must be protected from their alleged attackers,” Rep. Turner said. “DOD’s record of protecting women who report a rape and prosecute their case is shocking and unacceptable. I believe the legislation that Congresswoman Harman and I have put forward is a critical step in helping to solve this problem.”
According to the DOD, only eight percent, of subjects investigated for sexual assault during Fiscal Year 2007 were referred to a court martial. At the same time, 40 percent of civilians arrested for rape are prosecuted according to the Department of Justice. The resolution calls on the Department of Defense to develop a strategy to reverse this troubling trend.
The resolution calls on the Department of Defense to review the military’s legal infrastructure for investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases and asks them to establish a policy that mandates that local law enforcement be notified of any military protective order issued on base among many other recommendations.
“Immediate action must be taken to correct the terrible problem of sexual assault in the military,” Congressman Turner said. “Our nation’s military is the greatest in the world and our servicemembers deserve the greatest protection we can offer them. I am hopeful that Congress will act quickly on our legislation to help correct this hugely important problem.”