IAVA Applauds Senate Armed Services Committee’s Inclusion of Landmark Military Justice Reform Legislation Within NDAA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 23, 2021
Washington, DC – Last night, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the yearly comprehensive bill that allocates funds for our military, out of committee. Included within was the groundbreaking Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA) (S.1520) in its entirety.
“We commend the leadership of Chairman Reed (D-RI) and Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) on their collaboration in including this landmark and needed legislation within the NDAA,” said Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA. “IAVA has fought to see this legislation passed for several years. We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and ensure the original language, and spirit of MJIIPA, remains in the final version of the NDAA.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 1 in 3 women veterans, and 1 in 50 male veterans, experienced military sexual trauma (MST) while serving their country. In IAVA’s most recent annual member survey, 73% of IAVA members that reported their sexual assault experienced some sort of retaliation as a direct result. MJIIPA would take the decision to prosecute serious crimes, such as sexual assault, murder, and child pornography, out of a servicemember’s chain of command and give it to independently trained military prosecutors. It would also increase security measures at military installations to keep servicemembers safe and improve sexual assault and harassment training procedures. This legislation is designed to address the systemic fear that survivors of military sexual assault have in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them.
The NDAA will now head to the Senate floor and IAVA supports its swift passage.
IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at quickreactionforce.org or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at iava.org/membership.