The Senate passed amendments to the defense bill by voice-vote Wednesday that would better protect members of the military who are victims of sexual violence and mental health issues.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced the amendment, 3016, which would require each branch of the military to process sexual violence offenders and, if they’re found guilty, discharge them from military service.
“Sexual violence in the military continues to occur at an alarming rate,” Gillibrand said on the floor Wednesday. “If one-third of sex offenders in the military are being retained, then clearly we must move forward.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced Amendment 3099, which she said improves the mental health and suicide services provided by the Department of Defense. Murray said the bill sets up a suicide prevention program across the department, provides peer counseling and extends mental health services to the family of service members.