MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) is offering an alternative to U.P. Congressman Dan Benishek’s (R-Mich) bill, which would remove from the military chain of command the power to prosecute sexual assaults between service members.
Instead, Levin’s proposal would require an independent review by the next-higher level of the chain of command, but the investigation would stay within the chain of command.
Levin says that his proposal would hold commanders accountable if they don’t follow through on investigations of sexual assaults, and it requires commanders to create a climate where victims can report these abuses without having the fear of retaliation.
Benishek, who chairs the House Veteran’s Affairs sub-committee on Health, however, says sexual assault cases are under-reported in the military by as much as 87 percent.
The Iron County Republican says a survey showed that there were 26,000 sexual assaults in the military last year but only 3,400 were reported.
Levin’s bill passed the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, a committee that the Detroit Democrat chairs.
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