WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night’s vote to pass the $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was on track to deliver justice for survivors of sex-related crimes in the military, with sweeping provisions long fought for by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and others that included putting serious criminal cases in the hands of independent military prosecutors. But a back-room deal brokered at the last minute stripped these measures from the bill.
The reform measures included in the passed NDAA will help restore some trust in military justice—but there’s still a long way to go. NOW supports Sen. Gillibrand’s call for an up-or-down Senate vote on the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA). It has 66 cosponsors in the Senate— as long as real reform is kept behind closed doors and off the Senate floor, justice will continue to be denied.
For generations, the U.S. military has mishandled crimes involving sexual assault and harassment, institutionalizing a shelter for abusers that relied on the most protected patriarchal organization — the military chain of command.
NOW demands military justice for survivors. No more protecting perpetrators and no more backroom deals. The Senate must vote to change the military’s culture of sexual harassment and assault, once and for all. #EnoughIsEnough.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.