Improvements to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice to Address Handling of Sexual Assault and Harassment Challenges by Women
WHEREAS, approximately 210,000 (nearly 10%) women serve on active duty across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force and another 5,955 serve as on active duty in the Coast Guard; and
WHEREAS, women in the military face unique challenges and sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the Armed Forces remain important issues related to the well-being of women in the military given the increase of women serving in the military; and
WHEREAS, issues associated with sexual misconduct adversely impacts retention in the military and investigations are handled by the unit to which the allegation is against and that agency is a party to the complaint, the hearing can be unfair and dishonest; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Veterans Affairs report that while in the military, 23% of women reported sexual assault and 55% reported some form of sexual harassment. Women are 20 times more likely than men to be assaulted during their military service and those who experience Military Sexual Assault (MST) are 5 to 8 times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to those with no history of MST; and
WHEREAS, the Uniform Code of Military Justice is the federal military law, enacted by Congress for the purpose of promoting justice, assisting in maintaining good order and discipline in the armed forces, promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the military.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People calls for the immediate passage of S.1520, the "Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act", a bi-partisan bill to reform the disposition of charges and convening of courts-martial for certain offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in order to increase the prevention of sexual assaults and other crimes in the military.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP supports a policy change to have criminal matters on acts of sexual assault and harassment cases transferred to an independent military authority outside of the specific military unit in which the case originated.