Biden Signs Order Making Sexual Harassment in Military a Crime

Biden Signs Order Making Sexual Harassment in Military a Crime President Joe Biden President Joe Biden. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Wednesday, 26 January 2022 05:17 PM

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order making sexual harassment a criminal offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

''This afternoon, I'm signing an Executive Order to make sexual harassment an offense in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and to strengthen the military's response to domestic violence and the wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images,'' Biden tweeted earlier in the day.

The order had not been publicly released as of Wednesday afternoon, and White House officials have not disclosed the details of its contents, including possible penalties for those convicted of sexual harassment.

Biden's decision follows a new law passed last month that changes how the military prosecutes crimes such as sexual assault, as well as moving to make sexual harassment a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Stars and Stripes reports that it's unclear how the executive order differs from this legislation as of Wednesday.

Stars and Stripes also notes that a study conducted by the nonprofit think tank Rand Corp. found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 16 men said they had experienced sexual harassment while serving in the Department of Defense, and that 1 in 16 women and 1 in 143 men said they had been sexually assaulted.