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Recently, a shocking Department of Defense report showed that the estimated number of sexual assaults in the military dramatically increased to a record 26,000 last year. Tragically, only a small number of these crimes were ever reported, let alone brought to trial.

Survivors of these vicious crimes are scared to come forward because they doubt that the military and its criminal justice system will protect them and punish the perpetrators. It is no secret why. A full 62 percent of those who reported a sexual assault felt they were then victims again when they were retaliated against. Moreover, senior military officers with no legal training have the power to decide whether a case goes to trial, or even to throw out a military judge or jury's verdict.

Our service men and women deserve better.

Join Senators Begich, Blumenthal, Boxer, Coons, Franken, Gillibrand, Pryor, and Shaheen now in putting an end to this injustice by becoming a citizen cosponsor of the Military Justice Improvement Act today.

Together we must ensure that decisions about whether to prosecute sexual assault cases are made by independent prosecutors, not senior commanders. Together, we must ensure that commanders can no longer unilaterally overturn a verdict rendered in military court. Together we can — and we will — do right by our service men and women.

Mark Begich
U.S. Senator
Richard Blumenthal
U.S. Senator
Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator
Chris Coons
U.S. Senator
Al Franken
U.S. Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator
Mark Pryor
U.S. Senator
Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senator
Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee
Democratic Congressional
Campaign Committee