Target: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Goal: End the outrageously high number of sexual assaults occurring every year in the military by enacting the Military Justice Improvement Act
Recently, a prostitution ring in the military came to light in the Texas Fort Hood military base. Multiple female officers came forward in a court case to confirm that they had been pressured to submit sexually to their superiors. One of the most difficult points of this case is that it appears the man who organized this ring was also the sexual assault prevention leader for his unit. While cases like these are not uncommon, as there were an estimated 26,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2012, it is still outrageous. Sign the petition below to put the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) into effect, and help put an end to these attacks within the military.
This recent prostitution ring was discovered when Master Sgt. Brad Grimes was brought into court for patronizing a prostitute—a young private in the military—and soliciting sexual favors. She was one of many to come forward, saying she had been pressured into these acts and had actually been paid by Grimes. He denied it in the court, and was acquitted of the charges. As for his stance in the military, he was reduced one pay grade. As for the alleged ring-leader, Sgt. First Class Gregory McQueen, it appears no charges have been brought against him (as Grimes refused to testify), although he has been removed as the sexual assault prevention leader.
In 2012, there were roughly 26,000 sexual assaults in the military, with only 3,500 of these crimes actually being reported. If this seems like a confusing number, 50% of the survivors who did not report their attacks stated it was because they believed nothing would be done about it. In fact, many believe that it might even make the situation worse in a number of ways. If MJIA is put into action, the report of a sexual assault will no longer be filed with the military leaders, but is instead assigned to objective, independent, trained military prosecutors. Victims would no longer need to fear being ignored, or potentially making their lives worse by reporting an attack. Rape and sexual assault would finally be dealt with and the attackers fully punished.
The military is a place where people become soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect their country. They should not have to worry about becoming one of the 26,000 who are assaulted in a year. And they should especially not have to fear reporting the attack, and should be able to trust those in the roles like that of the sexual assault prevention leaders. Sign the petition below to say no to sexual assault in the military by instituting the Military Justice Improvement Act.
Dear Secretary Hagel,
I read about the privates who came forward in Fort Hood, Texas, to say they had been pressured into a prostitution ring. Thus far, the alleged ring leader has not been charged and has only been removed as the sexual assault prevention leader. Additionally, the solider charged with paying a private for sexual intercourse denied his role in the situation, and left court one pay grade lower in military standing, but with no other punishment. This example alone is horrifying enough, but pales in comparison to the 26,000 sexual assaults—mainly unreported—that occurred in the military in 2012.
Of those assaults, only 3,500 individuals reported their attacks. When other survivors were questioned why they did not also report their assaults, 50% stated that they believed that reporting it would have no positive outcome for their situations.
This needs to change immediately. Not only should our citizens be safe, but our soldiers—who have to worry about our enemies daily—should also be safe within their own ranks. I fully support the enactment of the Military Justice Improvement Act to finally make attackers accountable, and to create a situation in which victims feel that reporting the crimes will lead to justice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Band via Wikimedia