DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers aren't waiting for Congress to toughen laws against sexual assaults in the military. They have begun their own effort to hold the state National Guard accountable for such abuses.
The U.S. Senate recently approved legislation to better protect victims, and the trial of an Army general in North Carolina has been widely covered.
But state Sen. Steve Sodders says it's not just a national problem. He proposed legislation to improve the handling of sexual assault cases by the Iowa National Guard.
The state's House Veterans Affairs Committee passed the bill Thursday to ensure victims are aware of their right to report sexual assaults.
A former guard member who told the Associated Press she was assaulted said the legislation would be a step forward but may not be enough.