DearColleague.us

Letter

Jackie Speier

From the office of:

Jackie Speier

Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Sent By:
Luke.Huisenga@mail.house.gov

Cosponsors (9): Bacon, Holmes Norton, Cisneros, Hastings, Castor, Cuellar, Grijalva, Chu, DelBene

Dear Colleague,

Sexual assault rates continue to rise across the military, while survivor reporting remains unacceptably low and falling. In 2018, roughly 20,500 servicemembers indicated they suffered from some type of sexual assault, a nearly 40 percent increase from 2016.
Only 38 percent came forward to report the crimes, a decrease from 41 percent in 2016. Urgent action must be taken to reverse these negative trends and the damage they inflict on military readiness and retention.

Though the military encourages survivors to report, many remain deterred by the prospect of punishment for minor collateral misconduct that occurred related to the assault. Fear of punishment for minor offenses like drinking underage or violating curfew
should not prevent servicemembers from reporting criminal sexual assaults. Reporting allows victims to hold sexual assault perpetrators accountable, receive needed services, and empowers the military justice system to deter criminal misconduct in the ranks.

Join us in supporting a bipartisan, bicameral effort to establish a “Safe to Report” policy across the military. This bill would encourage survivors to report by guaranteeing that they could not be punished for certain collateral misconduct unless aggravating
circumstances exist. The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Safe to Report policy, which Academy leaders say has been successful, served as a model for this legislation.

This bi-partisan legislative provision was included in both the House and Senate-passed NDAAs last year but was removed during final conference negotiations. Your co-sponsorship will help signal that Congressional intent on this matter is clear and that
good order and discipline require we prioritize reporting of criminal sexual misconduct over the punishment of minor disciplinary offenses.

To sign on, or ask any questions, please contact Luke Huisenga in Representative Speier’s office at 202-225-3531 or
Luke.Huisenga@mail.house.gov, or Patrick Flood in Representative Bacon’s office at 202-225-4155,
Patrick.Flood@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Jackie Speier     Don Bacon  
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Family Issues, Government, Homeland Security, Veterans

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