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Kaine Cosponsors Military Justice Improvement Act to Address Sexual Assault in the Military

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today on cosponsoring Senators Gillibrand and Grassley’s Military Justice Improvement Act to professionalize the prosecution of sexual assault cases in the military:

“I have supported dozens of reforms to give the military chain of command more tools to deal with the scourge of sexual assault. But I have been deeply disappointed with the lack of meaningful progress toward making the military a place free from the debilitating effects of discrimination and violence that not only hurt individual servicemen and women but also corrode the unity and ethics needed for effective operations. The harassment and murder of Vanessa Guillen and the extensive analysis of the culture responsible for her death convinced me that the path we are on is unlikely to lead to success. 

“I applaud the long advocacy of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and so many others in spotlighting the massive problem in the ranks and proposing a significant change of direction to deal with it. I will support the Gillibrand/Grassley bill and then carefully analyze the daily experiences of our troops in years to come to ensure that it works. And if we don’t see dramatic improvement in an unacceptable status quo, we will still need to do more until the day when people are not targeted for sex-based harassment as they seek to serve the nation by joining our military.”