ACTION ALERT: Senate MJIA vote on Tuesday: Contact Sen. Tillis ASAP

Please take this action to help women in the military.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- New York) will be offering her bill – the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 – as amendment 1578 on the FY 16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015. A vote on that amendment is expected on TUESDAY, June 16.  Call or email our US Senator Thom Tillis in Washington DC ASAP with the simple message:

Please vote for Sen. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 (MJIA). It is essentially the same as legislation from the 113th Congress, but Sen. Gillibrand has added improvements to address retaliation and obstruction of justice.  She will be offering this bill as an amendment to the defense authorization bill on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.  

Read more about MJIA at http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia

In NC, we can contact both of our Senators, but if you only have time for one, contact Senator Thom Tillis (per National NOW’s action alert).  

RapeInMilitaryQuote

In North Carolina, use this link to find Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Richard Burr.  https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/how-to-contact-ncs-us-senators-burr-and-tillis/

More Background: Our US Military has a horrendous rape and sexual assault problem, and those problems persist even though Congress has passed some improvements, and some of those have been implemented.  According to Senator Gillibrand, “Cover-ups and retaliation are still high, and victims still do not report this crime fearing that little will be done to the perpetrator and that their careers will be over. “ According to the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Report for 2014, the military is still doing a terrible job.
  • 19,000 men and women face sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact in the military a year.  That means 52 UNWANTED SEXUAL CONTACTS occur every day on average across the military – the rate identical to 2010 levels. 
  • 75% of the victims are afraid to report the crime.
  • 62% of female sexual assault victims who reported their assaults experienced retaliation.”  This rate is unchanged over the last two years. 
  • 60% of cases have a supervisor or unit leader responsible for sexual harassment or gender discrimination.
  • Women who were sexually harassed were 1,400% MORE LIKELY to be sexually assaulted that same year.

You can find the DOD’s report and more on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand MJIA page at http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia.  

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) works very hard for women, including women in the military and to fix the travesty of campus rape.  You may send her an email to thank her too.  http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/

NC National Organization for Women

p.s. You may also mention to Senators Burr and Tillis that they both need ‘topics’ on their online contact forms for ‘Women’ and/or Women’s Issues.

——– Forwarded Message from National NOW, 6/13/15 ——–
Please take action and forward this to your members, allies, coalition partners.

The Senate is continuing consideration of the FY 16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015 and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- New York) will be offering her bill – the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 – as amendment 1578. A vote on that amendment will be TUESDAY, June 16, if the Senate’s plans run smoothly. We are asking everyone to call their senators Washington, D.C. offices ASAP!

MJIA will require an experienced special prosecutor to handle military sexual assault cases, ultimately taking the process out of the chain of command.

The message is simple

Please vote for Sen. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015. It is essentially the same as legislation from the 113th Congress, but Sen. Gillibrand has added improvements to address retaliation and obstruction of justice.  She will be offering this bill as an amendment to the defense authorization bill on Tuesday, June 16.

If you need a review of the issue, talking points or the latest reports, please go to http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia

NOW has been working on improving the military’s response to sexual assault for many years now. While Congress has passed – and the military has initiated – many improvements, women and men in the military are still experiencing sexual assault and finding little recourse or confidence in the military justice system. Cover-ups and retaliation are still high, and victims still do not report this crime fearing that little will be done to the perpetrator and that their careers will be over.

The main objective of the bill is to improve the assault survivor’s access to justice by removing the decision to prosecute these crimes from the military “chain of command.” Also, there is a new provision in the bill that protects victims against retaliation. We need this policy changed immediately. According to the Pentagon, 62% of female sexual assault victims who reported their assaults experienced retaliation – a rate unchanged over the last two years.

We must have an independent, non-biased and experienced military prosecutor system to more effectively handle sexual assault complaints.

Please contact your senators and ask them to vote for Amendment 1578 on Tuesday, June 16. Please contact your senators’ offices NOW!

Tillis, Thom – (R – NC) (202) 224-6342,  john_mashburn@tillis.senate.gov,
www.tillis.senate.gov/content/contact-thom

Burr, Richard – (R-NC)  (202) 224-3154
http://www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email

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