U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today after the Senate advanced a bill to strengthen sexual assault provisions.
"As a Senator from the state with the third largest military population in the country, I have spoken with too many servicemembers who have been affected by this crisis. While I am disappointed the Military Justice Improvement Act was not approved, I am pleased that the Senate is expected to pass a bipartisan bill on Monday that will better protect our servicemembers," said Hagan. "I am certain that this bipartisan legislation takes meaningful steps to ensure that our brave servicemen and women can focus on their mission rather than worrying about their personal safety while serving our country."
The legislation that advanced in the Senate today takes several steps to strengthen the sexual assault provisions in the NDAA including:
· Eliminating the good soldier defense.
· Allowing victims input in deciding whether cases will be prosecuted in the military or civilian justice system.
· Strengthening the role of the prosecutor in advising commanders on going to court martial.
· Boosting accountability of commanders for addressing sexual assault.
· Extending protections to military service academies.