A bipartisan pair of House lawmakers is urging their colleagues keep legislation protecting male victims of sexual assault in the military in the fiscal 2016 defense policy bill.
The Support Uniformed Patriots; Prevent Offenses and Restore Trust Act, sponsored by Reps. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) and Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), requires the Defense Department to better train and educate service members about the sexual assault of men. The bill requires providing medical and mental health needs specific to male survivors, and the development of agency-wide metrics to research and combat male victimization.
The legislation, which also includes extending sexual-assault prevention and response training to Reserve Officer Training Corps programs and requiring the DOD to develop a strategy against retaliation, was included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) but Tsongas and Turner want to make sure their proposal survives conference with the Senate’s draft.
“As appointees to the committee tasked with working out the differences between the House and Senate Defense bills, we will urge our colleagues to include these much-needed changes,” the lawmakers, who co-chair the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus, wrote Monday in a Huffington Post op-ed.
The two were selected to be part of a group of around 30 House lawmakers to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the $612 billion policy roadmap.