Senator seeks to reform military’s ‘unacceptable’ sex abuse policies

Kirsten GillibrandSenator seeks to reform military’s ‘unacceptable’ sex abuse policies

A New York senator introduced a bill Thursday that aims to remove sex crimes from the military’s chain of command — a bid to transform an insulated culture that tends to dampen sex-assault reporting, leaving many victims feeling helpless or hopeless.

Under the Pentagon’s current justice system, less than 1 percent of accused sexual perpetrators in the military were convicted last year while during 2012 just 9.8 percent of sex-assault victims reported the incidents, according to a Department of Defense report. Many victims feel powerless because their superiors can control everything from whether a case proceeds to whether a guilty verdict is eventually overturned.

“When the officer in charge of preventing sexual assault in their ranks is himself arrested for sexual assault — clearly, the strategy we have in place is not working. Twice in just the last two weeks this has happened,” Gillibrand said.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/16/18280367-senator-seeks-to-reform-militarys-unacceptable-sex-abuse-policies?lite

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