URGENT ALERT: Military Sexual Assault Legislation Gaining Momentum! Ask Your Senators to Add Their Support So Bill Passes on Senate Floor!

For the first time in decades, we have a real chance to reform the military justice system and address the epidemic of sexual assault! Senator Gillibrand’s legislation, ensuring that professional military prosecutors are responsible for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault cases, is gaining momentum!

Here is what you need to know: every 21 minutes, a service member is assaulted. In 2012 alone, there were 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact. Only 9.8% of victims ever report these devastating crimes, citing fear of retaliation, and the majority of those who do report experience social, administrative or professional retaliation within their unit. For decades, military leaders have promised to try harder to end this scourge of violence but sexual assault in the military remains an epidemic.

Senator Gillibrand’s (D-NY) Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 967) has 36 bipartisan co-sponsors and 2 more Republican Senators, Senator Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Paul (R-KY), pledged their support to her bill! This legislation would reform the military justice system by authorizing professional military prosecutors to make decisions about which cases should proceed to trial. Under the current system, commanding officers, not trained legal experts, have the sole authority to decide whether a case is brought to trial.

Senator Gillibrand plans to offer her bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could be considered by the Senate as early as this month! We need every single Senator, especially those who have not yet signed onto the bill, to co-sponsor this measure and support it as an amendment on the Senate floor.  The vote could occur in the next two weeks before Congress goes home for their August recess.

Please take urgent action now to ensure that Senator Gillibrand’s bill passes the Senate when it is considered in the coming weeks!

ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS ON THE TARGET LIST BELOW AND URGE THEM TO CO-SPONSOR THE MILITARY JUSTICE IMPROVEMENT ACT!

Senate Target List (Senators not yet on the bill or openly in support):

Arkansas: BOOZMAN, John (R-AR) SH-320 202-224-4843

Colorado: BENNET, Michael F. (D-CO) SR-458 202-224-5852

Connecticut: MURPHY, Christopher (D-CT) SH-303 202-224-4041

Georgia: ISAKSON, Johnny (R-GA) SR-131 202-224-3643

Idaho: CRAPO, Mike (R-ID) SD-239 202-224-6142

Idaho: RISCH, James E. (R-ID) SR-483 202-224-2752

Illinois: KIRK, Mark (R-IL) SH-524 202-224-2854

Illinois: DURBIN, Richard J. (D-IL) SH-711 202-224-2152

Indiana: COATS, Daniel (R-IN) SR-493 202-224-5623

Kentucky: McCONNELL, Mitch (R-KY) SR-317 202-224-2541

Louisiana: LANDRIEU, Mary L. (D-LA) SH-703 202-224-5824

Montana: BAUCUS, Max (D-MT) SH-511 202-224-2651

Montana: TESTER, Jon (D-MT) SH-706 202-224-2644

Nevada: REID, Harry (D-NV) SH-522 202-224-3542

North Carolina: BURR, Richard (R-NC) SR-217 202-224-3154

Ohio: BROWN, Sherrod (D-OH) SH-713 202-224-2315

Oklahoma: COBURN, Tom (R-OK) SR-172 202-224-5754

Pennsylvania: TOOMEY, Patrick J. (R-PA) SR-248 202-224-4254

Rhode Island: WHITEHOUSE, Sheldon (D-RI) SH-530 202-224-2921

Texas: CORNYN, John (R-TX) SH-517 202-224-2934

Virginia: WARNER, Mark R. (D-VA) SR-475 202-224-2023

Wyoming: ENZI, Michael B. (R-WY) SR-379A 202-224-3424

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles military/defense legislation and say:

  1. I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  2. I urge Senator [insert name] to co-sponsor S. 967, The Military Justice Improvement Act, which will hold perpetrators of sexual assault accountable for their actions and provide victims of military sexual assault access to safety and justice.
  3. Thank the staffer for their time.  

Don’t forget to call back and contact your other Senator if they have not yet signed on!

Resources for your phone call:

 

Below are the Senators who have already co-sponsored the bill.  If you have a moment, call and thank them:

Co-sponsors of S. 967:

BALDWIN, Tammy (D-WI) SH-717 202-224-5653

BEGICH, Mark (D-AK) SR-111 202-224-3004

BLUMENTHAL, Richard (D-CT) SH-724 202-224-2823

BOXER, Barbara (D-CA) SH-112 202-224-3553

CANTWELL, Maria (D-WA) SH-311 202-224-3441

CARDIN, Benjamin (D-MD) SH-509 202-224-4524

CARPER, Thomas R. (D-DE) SH-513 202-224-2441

CASEY, Jr., Robert . (D-PA) SR-393 202-224-6324

COLLINS, Susan  (R-ME) SD-413 202-224-2523

COONS, Christopher A. (D-DE) SR-127A 202-224-5042

FEINSTEIN, Dianne (D-CA) SH-331 202-224-3841

FRANKEN, Al (D-MN) SH-309 202-224-5641

GILLIBRAND, Kirsten E. (D-NY) SR-478 202-224-4451

GRASSLEY, Chuck (R-IA) SH-135 202-224-3744

HARKIN, Tom (D-IA) SH-731 202-224-3254

HEINRICH, Martin (D-NM) SH-702 202-224-5521

HEITKAMP, Heidi (D-ND) SH-502 202-224-2043

HIRONO, Mazie K. (D-HI) SH-330 202-224-6361

JOHANNS, Mike (R-NE) SR-404 202-224-4224

JOHNSON, Tim (D-SD) SH-136 202-224-5842

LEAHY, Patrick J. (D-VT) SR-437 202-224-4242

MARKEY, EDWARD (D - MA) SR-218 202-224-2742

MENENDEZ, Robert (D-NJ) SH-528 202-224-4744

MERKLEY, Jeff (D-OR) SH-313 202-224-3753

MIKULSKI, Barbara A. (D-MD) SH-503 202-224-4654

MURKOWSKI, Lisa (R-AK) SH-709 202-224-6665

PRYOR, Mark L. (D-AR) SD-255 202-224-2353

ROCKEFELLER, John. (D-WV) SH-531 202-224-6472

SANDERS, Bernard (I-VT) SD-332 202-224-5141

SCHATZ, Brian (D-HI) SH-722 202-224-3934

SCHUMER, Charles E. (D-NY) SH-322 202-224-6542

SHAHEEN, Jeanne (D-NH) SH-520 202-224-2841

UDALL, Tom (D-NM) SH-110 202-224-6621

VITTER, David (R-LA) SH-516 202-224-4623

WARREN, Elizabeth (D-MA) SH-317 202-224-4543

WYDEN, Ron (D-OR) SD-221 202-224-5244

 

Senators who have pledged their support for the bill:

CRUZ, Ted (R-TX) SD-185 202-224-5922

PAUL, Rand (R-KY) SR-124 202-224-4343

Voted for Gillibrand in Armed Services Committee (3)

DONNELLY, Joe (D-IN) SH-720 202-224-4814

HAGAN, Kay R. (D-NC) SD-521 202-224-6342

UDALL, Mark (D-CO) SH-730 202-224-5941

 

ACTION ITEM 2): USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS!

Find your Senators’ Twitter handles here and use our sample tweets below:

  • Lend your voice to victims of military sexual assault & join @SenGillibrand’s @Thunderclapit in support of #MJIA: http://bit.ly/1dCJudg 

  • [insert Twitter handle] Protect those who protect our country! Support the Military Justice Improvement Act. #militarysexualassault #EndMilitaryRape #MJIA

  • [insert Twitter handle] Victims of sexual assault in the military deserve safety & justice. Support S. 967 #militarysexualassault #MJIA #NotInvisible

Sample Facebook post:

Please contact your Senators today and urge them to support Senator Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act that would reform the military justice system to finally protect victims of sexual assault! By authorizing trained, professional military prosecutors, not commanding officers, to make decisions about sexual assault cases, victims will finally see the justice they deserve. This legislation could come to a vote on the Senate floor as early as next week- and we need every Senator’s support. Service men and women have fought hard to defend our country- now we have a chance to stand up for them. #MJIA



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