17 Senators decide protecting rapist is more important than removing the Military Chain of Command from sexual assault cases.

          17 Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee protected rapists by voting not to remove sexual assault cases from the chain of command. The current system is not working. Leaving it in place is irresponsible and lazy, yet it seems as if part of our government wishes to do so.

The Pentagon recently reported more than 70 sexual assaults were occurring in the military everyday. From 2011-2012 the number of sexual assaults increased from 19,000 to 26,000, but the reported number of assaults remained at 3,000. Most sexual assaults go unreported in the military because only 3% of the 2012 cases were prosecuted.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has a chance to help victims of assault. They could have put us on the same path as many other countries by investigating the cases outside the military. But instead they let victims down, let future victims down and let all Americans down. 17 Senators decided protecting the rapists were more important than helping the victim.

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mi) replaced Senator Kirsten Gillibrands plan with his own. The Levin plan is backed by Defense Secretary Hagel. It would keep the military in charge of prosecuting sexual assaults, which they are obviously not qualified to do. Senator Levin said “We need to change some things. We can do some things better. We have to. But I think we’ve got to be careful when we talk about taking the chain of command structure out of this process.” Isn’t it insane doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

It seems Senator Levin is oblivious to that fact that a large portion of these assaults are committed by the people in this chain of command. The fact that Gillibrand legislation had a bipartisan group of 27 co-sponsors didn’t seem to effect the Armed Services Committee’s decision. For 17 Senators keeping the status quo was good enough. Thousands of victims, their families and millions of Americans be damned. They obviously know what’s better for a for all of us then we do.

I would have thought Democrats would stand with the people on this. They have let me down. This was the wrong decision and sets a horrible precedent. It is almost as bad as talking about legitimate rape because it makes victims less likely to report the assault. In this case Democrats are wrong, they are still a better choice then Republicans. Republicans take the wrong stand daily. This decision was wrong and needs to be corrected.

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