WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 7, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personal and Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, celebrated the inclusion of her provisions to finally remove the crime of sexual harassment from the military chain of command and to provide other key protections for survivors in the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) agreement.
“The brutal murder of SPC Vanessa Guillen and victims like her made it crystal clear: Sexual harassment begets sexual assault and other horrific crimes. The monumental changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that I secured in Vanessa’s honor last year to remove sexual assault, murder, kidnapping, and domestic violence from the chain of command were truly historic. And my provision to make sexual harassment a stand-alone offense in the UCMJ that was included in the FY22 NDAA was also transformational,” Chair Speier said. “Shockingly, these extremely complex and critical sexual harassment cases were not taken out of the chain of command last year. This year’s NDAA agreement rights that egregious wrong and will finally ensure that this gateway crime receives the respect and resources it requires.”
“Even more importantly, it will ensure that the more than 100,000 sexual harassment survivors who suffer these crimes in our armed forces each year will have the confidence to come forward knowing their cases will be handled properly — by trained, independent investigators — which was not the case for Vanessa and countless others. I’m immensely proud that in my last year in Congress, I was able to get this critical component of the reforms enacted in Vanessa’s honor over the finish line as a fitting final tribute to Vanessa and the Guillen family — who have been the real warriors in this force for change.”
In addition to removing sexual harassment offenses from the chain of command and requiring independent investigations of sexual harassment, Chair Speier’s provisions in this year’s NDAA agreement will:
- Require inspections of National Guard units for compliance with federal law and policies, including those related to sexual harassment and assault.
- Provide referrals to civilian legal services for survivors of sexual assault.
A summary of the NDAA agreement can be found at https://armedservices.house.gov/_cache/files/c/c/cc3467a1-1686-42d0-9eed-0acb6ba59f1e/FBEC9B3BBACB6F0F647481B1A1C3BE2C.20221207-fy23ndaa-bill-summary-vfinal.pdf.
(Rep. Speier’s Office Release)