Last week, President Biden signed an executive order removing sexual assault crimes from the chain of command. This means service members will no longer be compelled to report those crimes to their commanders first, and instead, can choose to go to local law enforcement or nonprofit organizations for help.
Maryland houses 11 military bases and the US Navel Academy. This change is groundbreaking for the roughly 136,325 individuals serving in the military in the state.
“It will give people the ability to know that when they report sexual assault or sexual harassment, that someone who knows about these issues is going to be the person who is talking to them gathering the evidence and prosecuting the case.”
- Lisae C. Jordan, Executive Director, MCASA
In 2022, there were an estimated 36,000 sexual assaults in the military; an increase of 13% since 2019. It’s important to note that only a minority of assaults are reported. These new changes can reduce barriers to reporting and increase access to resources for military sexual assault survivors.
MCASA advocates annually in Annapolis for legislation that promotes justice for survivors of sexual violence, accountability for offenders, and protection for the general public. To learn more about MCASA's advocacy efforts in Annapolis, visit our website. And support our work by attending or sponsoring our 2023 Call to Action on September 12th!