Make Sexual Assault in the Military Transparent and Fair

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Sexual misconduct has been an on-going problem in the US military for more than 25 years. An annual report by the US Department of Defense estimated that more than 20,000 American service members were sexually assaulted in 2014. Less than 12 percent of these assaults were formally reported out of fear of retaliation, which may include poor performance reviews, discharge from the armed forces, hazing, shunning, physical assault, and death threats; and only about 5 percent of sexual assault cases in the military actually lead to convictions. The Military Code of Justice gives commanders near total autonomy on the prosecution and sentencing of these cases, and these commanders have a vested interest in preventing the investigation and prosecution as their own evaluations may be negatively affected by the number of cases prosecuted on their bases. Nearly two-thirds of reported sexual assault cases involving a superior officer, commanders are reluctant to allow the prosecution of their friends and colleagues. This petition urges Representative Lamar Smith to use their position in the United States House of Representatives to reintroduce the Military Justice and Improvement Act.

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