Bill Text: NJ ACR13 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Urges Congress to enact reforms addressing sexual harassment and assault in United States Armed Forces.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed) 2017-11-30 - Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading [ACR13 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-ACR13-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 13

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblywoman  DIANNE C. GOVE

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

Assemblywoman  PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges Congress to enact reforms addressing sexual harassment and assault in United States Armed Forces.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


A Concurrent Resolution urging Congress to enact reforms addressing sexual harassment and assault in the United States Armed Forces.

 

Whereas, The United States Armed Forces is one of the most important and respected institutions of this nation, but evidence of a culture of sexual harassment and assault in the military threatens to erode the sense of cohesion, respect, and trust that men and women service members rely on in the performance of their duties; and

Whereas, According to the Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military for fiscal year 2012, an estimated 26,000 service members experienced rape or unwanted sexual contact compared to 19,000 in 2010, which is an increase of 34% in the estimated rate of sexual assault in the military; and

Whereas, That report also found that only 3,374 service members, or 6% of victims, actually came forward to report a sexual assault in 2012, and that more women than men service members filed a report even though about 53% of sexual assault victims in the military are men; and

Whereas, Despite claims to have implemented a "zero tolerance" sexual harassment and assault policy by military leadership for the past 25 years, acts of sexual harassment and assault continue unabated in all branches of the military, as substantiated by these statistics and several high-profile cases, including the recent arrest of the head of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office for sexually assaulting a woman in a parking lot; and

Whereas, The military justice system is not equipped to handle sexual harassment and assault cases in a fair and equitable manner, as a case moves forward only if so recommended by a military commander, who can also overturn a conviction, which in those cases means that convicted sex offenders are allowed to remain in the military; and

Whereas, Several bills have been introduced in Congress to address the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault in the military and to reform the broken system of military justice which fails to handle cases equitably and fairly; for example, various bills seek to improve victims' services, extend victims' rights, modify the authority of commanders with respect to case prosecutions and convictions, professionalize the military justice system, mandate certain punishments for those convicted of specific sex crimes, and require the retention of sexual assault reports and better data collection; and

Whereas, It is imperative that Congress moves swiftly to enact these bills to ensure the well-being of military service members by protecting them against sexual harassment and assault and, in so doing, maintain the readiness of our military; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):

 

     1.    This House strongly supports, and urges Congress to enact, the various reforms currently introduced to address sexual harassment and assault in United States Armed Forces including, but not limited to, bills to improve the services available to victims of sexual harassment and assault; extend victims' rights; modify the authority of commanders with respect to case prosecutions and convictions; professionalize the military justice system; mandate certain punishments for those convicted of specific sex crimes; and require the retention of sexual assault reports and the collection of better data.  It is imperative that Congress moves swiftly to enact these bills to ensure the well-being of military service members by protecting them against sexual harassment and assault and, in so doing, maintain the readiness of our military.

 

     2.    Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate, to the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and to each member of Congress elected from this State.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the United States Congress to enact various reforms currently pending to address sexual harassment and assault in the United States Armed Forces including, but not limited to, bills to improve the services available to victims of sexual harassment and assault; extend victims' rights; modify the authority of commanders with respect to case prosecutions and convictions; professionalize the military justice system; mandate certain punishments for those convicted of specific sex crimes; and require the retention of sexual assault reports and the collection of better data.

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