Senators look to stop sex assault in US Merchant Marine

Published 8:33 am Monday, December 27, 2021

A bipartisan group of senators from Maine, Mississippi and New York wants to strengthen prevention of sexual assault and harassment in the United States Merchant Marine.

The proposal would look to improve prevention, response, investigation and accountability of sexual misconduct in the maritime industry, the senators said. It would also provide new safeguards for midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, they said.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York co-authored the proposal.

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Collins said it’s “imperative that we do all that we can to protect students who have chosen the path of service and ensure they are able to continue their important work.”

The proposal would give the U.S. Coast Guard the ability to take away a mariner’s license if they were found to have committed sexual harassment or assault, the senators said. It would also create a sexual assault and harassment database at the Merchant Marine Academy to track reports, senators said.