A new report released by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) this morning shows the Department of Defense (DOD) is grossly under-reporting the number of sexual assault crimes in the US military, particularly those occurring on military bases.
Due to loopholes in the system, many convicted sex offenders in the military are not registered sex offenders once they exit the military.
The Senate denied a vote for the Military Justice Improvement Act yesterday, blocking the act for the second time this year.
According to the the Pentagon report, there were about 19,000 cases of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact last year - over 50 cases a day. Of those who do report, nearly two-thirds reported that they faced retaliation.
Police brutality, military sexual assault, and gender-based violence in the US came under scrutiny this week.
The report will be issued online to all 200,000 active-duty servicewomen and 300,000 servicemen.
The law also now requires the California Military Department to report annually to the state government on sexual assault incidences and prevention plans.
The lawsuit alleges that the VA makes military sexual assault survivors who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) go through more procedural hurdles than other veterans to receive disability benefits.
Only a few days after the Senate blocked the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), it unanimously approved a bill that proposes several different reforms to combat sexual assault in the military.
"I always hoped we could do the right thing here – and deliver a military justice system that is free from bias and conflict of interest – a military justice system that is worthy of the brave men and women who fight for us."
"The men and women of our military deserve better," Gillibrand told The Washington Post.
Late last week, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 (NDAA), which expands efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthens protections for victims.
On Dec. 1, 2014, defense and military leaders will be required to issue a full-scale report on progress made to eradicate military sexual assault, President Obama announced Friday.
Female soldiers testified on Monday that they were recruited for a prostitution ring organized by a sergeant at Fort Hood in Texas.
After hours of debate, the Senate failed to vote yesterday on the Military Justice Improvement Act.
According to the report, the VA scrutinizes claims made by sexual assault victims more intently, even when they provide the kind of documentation their counterparts are not required to.
MJIA attempts to erase the systemic obstacles that victims of sexual assault in the military face due to the "clear bias and inherent conflicts of interest posed by the military chain of command's current sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to a trial."
The case takes place as the military faces increased pressure to improve the way it deals with sexual harassment and assault.
A female veteran reacted to a Air Force base victim blaming sexual assault awareness poster that was posted in the women's restroom by posting a rival flier with actual resources for survivors.
Yesterday the House passed an amendment to the 2014 defense appropriations bill that seeks to increase support of military sexual assault victims who have faced separation from the military based on alleged mental disorders.