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WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that makes sexual harassment an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The executive order also changes the military’s response to domestic violence and the distribution of intimate visual images.
The order was called on for by the I Am Vanessa Guillén Act in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén was 20 years old when she died in 2020.
She was seen was stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, when she was last seen in a parking lot on post.
Her remains were found near Fort Hood two months after she disappeared.
Guillén’s family said she had been sexually harassed multiple times at Fort Hood before she died.
Part of the act included criminalizing sexual harassment and improving how officials respond to sexual misconduct cases.
The new law excludes commanders from being involved in sexual harassment and sexual assault investigations.
A study by RAND estimated that one in every 16 women experience sexual assault in the military.
The number is smaller among men – one in every 143.
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