Patty in the News

Several provisions of a bill to combat military sexual assault introduced by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wa and Sen. Kelly Ayotte R-NH, have been included in legislation under consideration by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

They include a measure to provide victims of sexual assault with a special victims counsel — a military lawyer who would assist sexual-assault victims throughout the legal process. Another provision would help improve the tracking of military sexual-assault statistics.

However two provisions included in Murray’s and Ayotte’s bill did not make it into the committee bill.

One would have referred cases to general court marital level when sexual assault is charged or to the next superior competent authority when there is a conflict of interest in the immediate chain of command.

Another would have barred sexual contact between instructors and trainees during and within 30 days of completion of basic training or the equivalent.

I’m very pleased that a central focus of my bill, giving victims a dedicated advocate in their corner through this emotional and painful process, has been included in the first draft of the bill. But this effort is far from over,” Murray said Wednesday. “I will be closely reviewing the Committee’s bill language, continuing to debate this, and will be pushing for the aggressive solutions we need to address this crisis in any final bill once it’s open for consideration on the Senate floor.”

- Seattle Times