The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act
currently includes 36 provisions to address sexual assault by military personnel.
The Act has passed the House with bipartisan support and will be voted on by the Senate next week. U.S. Senator Mark Udall
(D-Colorado) said in a press release that he fought to include the provisions, which came on the heels of an news of rising sexual assaults in the military.
"We ask a hell of a lot of our troops, but I refuse to ask them to put up with rape," Udall stated in a press release. "Military sexual assault threatens the readiness and morale of our military. These provisions, which I was proud to champion, will make clear that there is zero tolerance for these horrific crimes and the people who commit them."
Per Udall's office, some of the provisions include:
• Requiring a minimum sentence of dishonorable discharge and dismissal for conviction of sexual assault;
• Assigning at least one fulltime [sic] sexual assault nurse examiner to all military medical facilities that offer 24-hour emergency care;
• Instituting a Special Victims' Counsel program in each service to provide specialized legal counsel to survivors of sexual assault;
• Prohibiting retaliation against service members for reporting a criminal offense while enhancing protections for military whistleblowers;
• Changing the rules for the military equivalent of a grand jury to better protect sexual assault survivors; and,
• Strengthening the review of decisions not to prosecute certain charges of sexual offenses.