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Military Justice Reform, Survivor Rights, and How Civilians Can Help
Length: 2 Hours


Over the years, we have been building towards monumental military justice reform. This year, we have never been closer. Both the House and the Senate have introduced bold pieces of legislation to amend the justice system, and DoD leadership, for the first time, is speaking in support of an overhaul. And for good reason. Sexual assault numbers peaked at 20,500 in 2018, and a recent DoD IG report just determined that 64% of military special victims cases did not have appropriately trained trial counsel (or prosecutors) assigned to them. Given the failures of the military to properly inform victims of their rights, Protect Our Defenders launched a Know Your Rights campaign to ensure that all survivors, even those who are not eligible for military counsel, are informed of their rights. Finally, there is a great need for civilian involvement in military justice on the practical level and also in the field of reform. This presentation will include a discussion of the importance of civilian intervention and assistance and what that might look like.

Objectives:

  • Gain a better understanding of the military justice reforms proposed by Congress and the DoD and what it will mean for those who experience military sexual assault.
  • Learn about the rights that are afforded to survivors and what tools survivors have (or don’t have) at their disposal.
  • Obtain the tools to understand and engage with survivors of military sexual assault and military justice reform.

Originally recorded as a part of IVAT's Speaker's Bureau 

Don Christensen, Col (USAF, Ret.), J.D., President, Protect our Defenders

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