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‘Safe-to-Report:’ Britt introduces legislation to protect sexual abuse victims at Coast Guard Academy

Sen. Katie Britt has brought forward legislation in the Senate aimed at protecting cadets who report sexual harassment and assault at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

“Protecting survivors of sexual assault and ensuring that all cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have a safe environment to learn and train is of the utmost importance,” said Britt of the new bipartisan legislation. “Congress has already made it clear that this type of reprehensible conduct has no place in our military or on the campuses of our other service academies.

“It’s critical that the same standards and protections are in place at the Coast Guard Academy, so that perpetrators can be held accountable and survivors can get justice.”

The “Coast Guard Academy Safe-to-Report Act” would specifically require the Coast Guard to implement a safe-to-report policy to protect service members and cadets from punishment for minor infractions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice when reporting incidents of sexual abuse. The legislation aligns the Coast Guard with other military services that have already been required to implement similar policies.

Companion legislation has been introduced in House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) whose district includes the Coast Guard Academy. The lower chamber’s version of the bill, introduced last August, is the “Coast Guard Academy Safe-to-Report Parity Act.”

 Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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