1,000 signatures reached
To: Secretary of Defense; Secretary of the U.S. Army; U.S. Senate & House Committees on the Armed Services
Civilianize U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Div. for investigation of Sexual Assault Allegations
We demand that the U.S. Army have professional civilian investigators investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment taking the investigation out of the victim's chain of command.
Why is this important?
For decades, both female and male survivors of sexual assault in the military have had their allegations disbelieved and dismissed by their superiors in their chain of command. In addition, many survivors who have made reports of assault have been bullied and threatened by their perpetrators without intervention by the chain of command. Women service members have especially been brutalized. Most victims do not report the violence out of a well-based fear of retaliation.
Many military careers have ended because of the failure of the chain of command to take allegations seriously and to properly investigate and punish those responsible. The U.S. Army culture is incapable of effectively handling allegations of sexual assault and too often the chain of command prevents proper adjudication of such serious charges.
After the Navy's Tailhook sexual assault scandal two decades ago, the Navy Investigative Service (NIS) was changed into the Naval Criminal Investigative Service with a civilian director and the entire investigative structure civilianized.
That Navy civilian structure stands in stark contrast to Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID), which is led by military police officers who are not criminal investigators. Army CID is also distinct from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, which is not totally civilianized but does have investigative agents leading the organization.
The Provost Marshal General of the U.S. Army General Donna Martin said CID has not had “significant structural change” in 20 years, “and yet we have had significant, quadrupling cases of sexual assault.”
It is critical that the Army has professional civilian investigators to investigate military sexual assault charges and take the investigations out of the hands of those in the military chain of command of the perpetrators.
Veterans For Peace https://www.veteransforpeace.org/
Service Women's Action Network https://www.servicewomen.org/
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Remove Prosecution of Sexual Assault from Military Chain of Command