Tester leads fight against sexual assault in the military
Senator’s bipartisan bill increases support for survivors, helps to prevent future attacks
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is leading the effort against sexual assault in the military by providing more help to survivors of sexual violence and taking steps to prevent sexual assault in the first place.
Tester is co-sponsoring the bipartisan Combating Military Sexual Assault Act, which provides assault survivors with a lawyer to assist in the legal process and enhances the U.S. Defense Department’s efforts to combat sexual assault and establish more assault prevention measures.
According to the Defense Department, while about 26,000 sexual assaults occurred in 2012, survivors reported fewer than 3,000 attacks.
“Sexual assault is always wrong, and its survivors deserve our full support as they seek justice,” Tester said. “This bill will empower survivors as they navigate the legal process and prevent more attacks from even happening in the first place.”
Tester’s bill also ensures that more support services are available to members of the National Guard and Reserve who have experienced a sexual assault.
Tester, along with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, recently introduced the bipartisan Ruth Moore Act to make it easier for survivors of sexual assault to get the veterans’ disability benefits they need. Ruth Moore is a survivor of military sexual assault who fought for more than 20 years before being awarded the veterans’ benefits she deserved.
Tester began actively stepping up the fight against military sexual assault after hearing from a constituent named Sara Albertson. Sara shared her story of military sexual trauma and her inability to receive VA benefits.