Biden Signs Executive Order, Makes Sexual Harassment a Military Crime

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A 2021 independent review commissioned by the Pentagon led to more than 80 recommendations for improvement. One such recommendation was to make sexual harassment a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The Biden Administration has passed an Executive Order following this recommendation. 

While sexual assault has been a punishable offense, now prosecutors have added power to protect military members from harassing non-violent actions and words from their peers that make them feel unsafe.

Joe Biden recently took to Twitter to share what he said was a means of strengthening “the military response to domestic violence and the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images.”

2022 National Defense Authorization Act

These changes to the UCMJ are in line with the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which contains huge changes to how the military will prosecute sexual harassment and assault cases. The Act authorizes Department of Defense (DOC) activities and programs for the fiscal year. In a world where bipartisan politics tend to overshadow most decisions, this order is widely agreed upon on both sides of the aisle. 

“This executive order is key to advancing the historic, bipartisan military justice reform he signed into law last month through the NDAA,” read a statement from the White House. “The executive order that the President signed today establishes sexual harassment as a specific offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It also strengthens the military justice response in prosecuting cases of domestic violence, and fully implements changes to the military justice code to criminalize the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images.” 

Looking to Independent Investigators Outside of the Chain of Command

Under this new order, an independent investigator who is outside of the chain of command will look into any claim of sexual harassment. The order comes as military harassment. In fact, one in four active-duty women experiences sexual harassment each year, with it often leading to sexual assault. Under the new law military service members no longer have to wait for someone’s conduct to reach the level of assault for actions to be taken.

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible. If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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