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House Subcommittee Approves Portion of Defense Authorization Bill

On June 22, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel approved, by voice vote, its portion of H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018.

The bill would incorporate provisions of H.R. 2052, the Protecting the Rights of Individuals Against Technological Exploitation (PRIVATE) Act, sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ). That legislation would create a new section under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prohibit the wrongful broadcast and distribution of intimate visual images and arises from reports of online sexual harassment of female service members (see The Source, 3/24/17).

Additionally, the bill would require special victims counsel training regarding the unique challenges often faced by male victims of sexual assault, as well as allow for the consideration of military sexual trauma as evidence relating to post-traumatic stress disorder in the review of dismissal or discharge claims by former service members.

The legislation includes a provision regarding military child custody protections, in which the committee requests a briefing, no later than March 2018, on the resources provided to service members regarding state child custody laws.

The bill also would authorize $30 million to continue assistance by the Department of Defense (DoD) to local educational agencies that are impacted by the enrollment of dependent children of military members and DoD civilian employees.

Additional details of the bill will be made available once the committee releases its report.

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