The persistent problem of sexual assault in the military has been a major issue on Capitol Hill this month. The question at hand is how to compel the Pentagon to better deal with sexual assault in the uniformed services.
Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, proposed that special prosecutors deal with these crimes outside of the traditional chain of command. A recent Pentagon report found that within the chain of command, 62% of sexual assault victims believe they faced some kind of retaliation after coming forward.
But Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says an outside accountability for sexual assault cases is too disruptive to work.
The compromise this week in the Senate Armed Services Committee would trigger an automatic review of cases when a commander overrules a military lawyer's advice to prosecute sexual assault cases. It is also believed that the senate will include a measure to end the practice of military commanders having the power to nullify verdicts in sexual assault cases.
Susan Burke, an attorney who represents military personnel who have been sexually assaulted, weighs in on the decision and what it means for victims.