Watch now: Senate to vote on military sexual assault bill

Today, after much delay and opposition, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) will be finally be debated and voted on by the Senate. This bill is extremely important and would challenge the status quo culture of rape and impunity ravaging our armed forces. This seems like an obvious solution. But sadly, it has been, and still is, an uphill battle.

As I write this blog post, the Senate is debating the MJIA. As we’ve covered before, the MJIA is a very sensible bill that would move the decision to prosecute out of the hands of the Chain of Command and into the hands of an independent military prosecutor. Given that over a quarter of people sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone in the chain of command, the current system, which requires survivors to report their assault to their superior within said chain of command, is counterproductive an dangerous. The military is creating a system in which rape survivors must report their rapes to people who are friends with the rapists, or the rapists themselves. This obviously inhibits reporting. Logic tells us this. And so does the fact that 62% of those who did report perceived some retaliation for doing so. 

You can watch the vote at 2PM on CSPAN2. Follow along on Twitter using #passMJIA and make some noise in support of this important bill.

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Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/rebeccagriffinblog/ Rebecca Griffin

    So disappointing to see the Senate block this. It’s amazing that senators will take the Pentagon at its word that these reforms are harmful and stand in the way of justice. You can read more and see how senators voted here: http://t.co/cER17ngyTG

  • http://feministing.com/members/brewersrule/ Clint

    Anyone notice that the attorney in charge of prosecuting sexual assault for the military’s now been accused of groping? More hypocrisy by the party that supposedly stands up for women while parading Bill Clinton in front of the cameras as its face.

    http://yhoo.it/1nnL8X5