Martha McSally, U.S. Senator from Arizona is continuing her efforts against sexual assault in the military. On Wednesday, she introduced legislation that she hopes will combat the problem.
McSally has worked on the Combating Military Sexual Assault Act since March. This was when she first stated she was raped by a superior officer while she was serving in the Air Force. She has since spoken to commanders at all Arizona military bases, and she convened a meeting with Department of Defense leaders.
“When America’s mothers and fathers send their sons and daughters off to the military, it’s our responsibility and a covenant to keep them safe from crimes being committed by other teammates,” said McSally. “We put our lives on the line when we go to battle, but we’ve got to stop these crimes.”
The bill will increase support for victims, improve the investigation, and improve the judicial process.
“Obviously we’ve got to stop these assaults from happening in the first place,” she said. “We’re going to be actually tackling that next, but I wanted to present something before we marked up the defense bill.”
However, McSally doesn’t believe the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases should be taken away from the commanders. “I very strongly disagree with that, as a former commander and as a survivor, but I wanted to also show I’m not for the status quo,” she said. “My bill, actually, really is going to improve the opportunity for justice, due process and timely and thorough process related to these issues, and I think it really will make a difference.”
The bill was created in conjunction with Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, who is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel. Committee members, Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Mike Rounds, we’re also involved.