By Jeremy Herb
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is introducing a bill Thursday that would create a new office for investigating and prosecuting sexual assaults in the military.
Speier’s legislation would remove sexual assault crimes from the normal military chain of command and place them in the hands of an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office within the Defense Department. The office, which would be made up of both military and civilian experts, would work with military investigators and oversee the prosecution of sexual assault cases.
“For too long the military’s response to rape victims has been: ‘Take an aspirin and go to bed,’” Speier said in a news release announcing the bill.
Speier’s bill would have the Defense Department create a sex offender database that would become part of the Department of Justice’s sex offender registry.
Speier has made numerous floor speeches on military sexual assault over the past three years, and has said she will “continue to share these stories until something changes.”
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