Personal Campaign

Tova Maciel

Tova is gathering 100 signatures to

Demand Protection For Military Sexual Assault Victims

President Obama had an opportunity to stand with victims and reject this change, which will allow investigating officers and defense counsel to pry into the sexual history of victims of sexual assault, and use the information to smear the victim’s reputation, deterring victims from even reporting their assaults,” said Nancy Parrish, President of Protect Our Defenders. “By this action the President has failed in his promise that he would ‘have victims’ backs.’” “As the Commander-in-chief, the President has the power to address this national disgrace in the military. Instead of taking the lead to protect the privacy of military sexual assault victims, the President is further exposing victims of sexual assault to intimidation and ridicule, while increasing the likelihood that information regarding their sexual history or inclinations will be used to protect sexual predators,” Parrish said. The President’s Executive Order (EO) expressly allows the introduction of evidence regarding a victim’s prior sexual history during Article 32 hearings. Article 32 hearings are not part of a court-martial trial, but under changes mandated by Congress, Article 32s are used to determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused committed the alleged crime. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (“NDAA 2014″), Congress substantially changed Article 32 from an investigative tool into a probable cause hearing. In analogous pretrial proceedings in civilian criminal practice, the accused does not have any constitutional right to confront or cross-examine witnesses, and there is no right to present evidence about a victim’s prior sexual history. The EO ignores the changes that Congress made to Article 32. The President signed the Executive Order despite objections raised by Protect Our Defenders (POD) to the President and Secretary of Defense in response to an earlier draft EO that included the changes to RCM 405(i), which were posted by DoD in their October 23, 2012 Federal Register Notice. The Department of Defense decided earlier this year to propose additional amendments to the RCM and to eliminate other changes that were included in that notice. These changes to RCM, pushed through by the Pentagon’s Joint Services Committee, were included in a new “Streamlined Executive Order,” which DoD refused to disclose to the public or Protect Our Defenders despite repeated informal and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

Tova's progress

1 signed
100 Tova's goal
See more