Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Proposed Defense Bill for Military Sexual Assaults Guarantees Victims a Lawyer

NPR had a detailed story today on the proposed congressional bill for prosecution of military assaults outside the usual military command.  See Defense Bill Addresses Sexual Assaults in Military.

Senator Claire McCaskill notes: "This will be the most victim-friendly organization in the world. There is no system - the civil criminal justice system or any other system in the world - that gives every victim their own lawyer."  Though the new system helps only the small percentage of victims (3,000 of 24,000) who report.

Interestingly, data suggests the majority of military victims are men. "But the women of the Senate took ownership over this problem from the very start as anger mounted this year." Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York offers this explanation of women's leadership on this issue.

Because as women, not only can we understand and be very empathetic when we talk to a man or a woman who's been brutally raped, but we are often able to internalize it and actually imagine what that would be like if that happened to my son or to my daughter, or to myself.

Violence Against Women | Permalink


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