Friday, November 8, 2013

URGE SENATORS TO SUPPORT the Military Justice Improvement Act! - on Senate floor next week


Call your Senators and Ask Them to Vote for the Military Justice Improvement Act!
November 7, 2013
Please forward widely!
The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence supports Senator Gillibrand's efforts to add the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which is expected to be on the Senate Floor as early as next Wednesday, November 13.  S. 967 (MJIA) has 38 bipartisan sponsors and 47 Senate supporters but we need 13 more votes to ensure that there is no filibuster and to pass this amendment for survivors.   We have less than a week to make our calls and tweets.
Take Action NOW!
1. Tweet at your Senators asking them to support the MJIA. To find your Senators' Twitter handle, visit: tweetcongress.org.  Sample tweet: @Senator'sTwitterHandle Listen 2 voices of survivors & VAWA advocates: Vote 4 the MJIA amendment 2 the NDAA.
2. Contact your Senators directly at their DC offices. The Senators listed below need to hear from you right away with this message:
"Support the Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment to the NDAA because military survivors deserve justice. You must listen to the voices of survivors and act to address the outrageous epidemic of military sexual assault. After VAWA, the MJIA is the next critical step in addressing sexual assault."
Background: The MJIA is a result of advocates and policy makers listening to the voices of survivors. We have heard over and over again the stories of what happens when survivors report and why many don't report.  All Senators need to listen to these voices and support the reforms survivors say they need.  The MJIA creates an independent objective and non-biased military justice system worthy of the men and women in uniform. We all know that prosecuting sexual assault and domestic violence requires specialized training, and the MJIA would ensure that prosecutors have expertise in these crimes.  
It's not just advocates, though, who are saying significant change is needed in the military's approach to major crimes. Military leaders have gone on record with their deep concerns about how the military has thus far responded to sexual assault. In an April 19th speech at Parris Island, General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps said: "Why wouldn't female Marines come forward?  Because they don't trust us. They don't trust the command. They don't trust the leadership." And then went on to lament a climate in which leaders have "become so soft" on holding wrongdoers accountable.
Just as a bipartisan coalition of Senators came together to pass the Violence Against Women Act to protect survivors and communities, so too must the Senate come together to pass the MJIA and protect survivors and all men and women in the military.
The following Senators need to hear from you THIS WEEK:
COCHRAN, Thad (R-MS) (202) 224-5054
DURBIN, Richard J. (D-IL) (202) 224-2152
KAINE, Tim (D-VA) (202) 224-4024
LANDRIEU, Mary L. (D-LA) (202) 224-5824
MURRAY, Patty (D-WA) (202) 224-2621
MURPHY, Christopher (D-CT) (202) 224-4041
REID, Harry (D-NV) (202) 224-3542
TESTER, Jon (D-MT) (202) 224-2644
WARNER, Mark R. (D-VA) (202) 224-2023
WHITEHOUSE, Sheldon (D-RI) (202) 224-2921
Resources:
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For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters, and updates: 
www.4vawa.org.

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If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to
ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org. For more info, go to www.4vawa.org.

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