We believe that every U.S. service member has the right to serve without being violated nor live with the fear of being violated. It is the right of every service member to have equal access to legitimate due process and justice if they are assaulted.
We also believe it’s a disgrace for our country to allow for such a disparity to exist between service members' likelihood of being sexually assaulted as compared to their civilian counterparts.
The rape culture and toxic masculinity we see systemically throughout our military—and even in our country—is ultimately responsible. However, none are more responsible than the policymakers and the leaders entrusted to enforce policies that provide safety and justice for sexual assault survivors.
WHERE WE STAND
Speak Out for MST is an advocacy organization created out of necessity to fill the infinite void between the current climate in the military regarding sexual assault policy and enforcement.
SHORT TERM GOAL: PASS MJIA (Military Justice Improvement Act)
WHAT DOES MJIA DO?
Takes the decision of whether or not to pursue charges in criminal assault cases out of the hands of the chain of command - more specifically, the decision to pursue charges shall be made by an O-6 or above. In addition, the person who is responsible for making the decision must provide trial counsel and have previous experience with such trials.
Requires all five branches of the military to comply with MJIA.
Prevents officers of either the accused or the survivor's chain of command from convening courts-martial.
LONG TERM GOAL: REALISTIC COLLABORATIVE CHANGE
It is our intention to change this situation by influencing legislation and policy change at the State and Federal level to effectively and realistically handle justice for sexual assaults. We strive for a real collaboration between military and civilian authorities as it pertains to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child endangerment cases. We are working to change the sexual harassment and assault training given by the military branches in a uniform and comprehensive training with input from mental health, teaching, legal, and military specialists.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Drastically lower the number of sexual assaults occurring within the military and both sexual and domestic assaults perpetrated by military service members.
Draft consistent, accurate, and continuously updated education on consent and assault that actually serves a purpose rather than being a repetitive mandatory training that leaves no emotional impact.
Provide resources for sexual assault survivors, as well as the falsely accused, including trauma therapy and legal services.
Establish an open rapport between military and civilian law enforcement when working on sexual assault and domestic violence cases in order to ensure justice, avoid mishandling of cases and/or leadership bias, and keep the surrounding communities safe.