Decision Maker Response
Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator

Feb 12, 2014 — Teresa, thank you for telling your story and for making your voice heard on behalf of so many survivors of sexual assault in the military who haven't had a voice. Your story unfortunately is all too common, but together, by passing the Military Justice Improvement Act and bringing real reform the military justice system, it's my hope that we can ensure no one goes through what you went through ever again.

And thanks to the over 100,000 signers of this petition. It really makes a difference that Americans all over the country of all political stripes are raising their voices to say, enough is enough. After decades of inaction in the face of a growing epidemic of sexual assaults in their ranks, it's time for our military commanders to relinquish their authority over whether or not to prosecute sexual assault cases, and transfer that authority to trained, independent military prosecutors where it belongs. Only in the U.S. military does a boss get to determine whether or not their employee was sexually assaulted. This policy must end.

The brave men and women of our military sacrifice every day for our country and deserve a justice system worthy of that sacrifice. They deserve better than to fear an enemy within their own unit more than they fear an enemy abroad. And they deserve better than to be victimized all over again by the very military they serve even after being physically traumatized by their attacker.

It's my hope that we will get a vote on the Military Justice Improvement Act in the coming weeks, and while a clear majority of the U.S. Senate is behind us, unfortunately, we'll likely need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in order to be successful. That means I need you all to take the next step beyond signing a petition. I need you to contact your Senators and urge them to support the Military Justice Improvement Act. Get on Twitter and Facebook and join the voices of so many others speaking out about this injustice at #passMJIA. Because only by passing this important legislation will the survivors of sexual assault in the military get a fair shot at the justice they deserve.