Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sexual Assaults in Military Get Congressional Attention

Changes to the way the military services respond to sexual assault allegations may be on the way, if a bipartisan pair of US Representatives get their way.  Niki Tsongas and Mike Turner introduced legislation yesterday that would increase complainants' and victims' confidential access to attorneys and victim advocates in sexual assault cases arising in the military.  If passed, the bill would also allow complainants an immediate opportunity for reassignment to another unit in order not to have to continue working alongside the accused, and records pertaining to sexual assault of military members would flow to the Department of Veterans Affairs to aid in proving disability claims connected to military service.

We welcome insight from anyone who has inside knowledge about the chances of the legislation passing.  There's a good deal of sentiment that military victims need greater assistance, but I have a feeling this bill may have unintended consequences if passed in its current form.