Deputy Protection Secretary Kathleen Hicks mentioned the Pentagon will take motion on the suggestions of a fee on sexual assault and harassment within the army “as quickly as potential.”
“We will make wanted foundational investments to assist sexual assault accountability, prevention packages, wholesome command climates and high quality sufferer care,” Hicks mentioned throughout a information convention Wednesday. “So far, sexual harassment and sexual assault stay severe issues in our pressure, with deadly penalties for our service members and dangerous results on our fight readiness.”
An impartial evaluate fee made 82 suggestions in June to sort out the issue of sexual assault and harassment within the army.
Hicks mentioned the Pentagon could have an “implementation roadmap,” which can embody the formation of a full-time sexual assault prevention workforce that can embody response coordinators and sufferer advocate positions.
A significant change in how the army tackles sexual assault and harassment instances can be to take away prosecuting authority in such instances away from the army chain of command, as a substitute permitting commanding officers to solely determine whether or not or not a case needs to be despatched to trial.
“Commanders are usually not legal professionals, and they don’t obtain satisfactory coaching concerning victimization, implicit bias and the affect these ideas have on the administration of justice,” the report mentioned.
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That change has been one of the crucial hotly debated points within the fee’s findings, main some leaders to query the knowledge of giving commanders much less authority over the models underneath their command.
Different adjustments beneficial by the fee, akin to revisions to the Uniform Code of Navy Justice, may take longer to implement as they may require congressional approval.